So much of Christmas is about Joy. The joy that Jesus was born, the joy of being with family, the joy of having Santa Claus come down your chimney by magic.
Sitting in the Christmas Eve service tonight I found my mind wandering, wondering about my little ones' Christmas Eve. Are they bouncing off the walls while their parents try to read the Christmas Story to them? Are they at Mass, swinging their legs in the pews? Are they having a simple dinner, Eid being over, wondering what all the fuss is about tomorrow? My thoughts fell on one of my froglets. On Friday, in the height of the pre-Christmas chaos I asked him what he thought Santa Clause would bring him.
"No Santa" he said. Sadness, I thought, he already doesn't believe.
"Santa, 5 minutes" he said. "Right? No time." No time? I started to get confused.
"Other houses. No time me. 5 minutes. No time me."
My heart broke. He believes in Santa, yet he believes Santa Claus doesn't have time for him. He's not worthy of Santa. No wonder he doesn't pick his head off the desk, or bother to try to learn to read. Other children may deserve Santa, but he doesn't.
Our school gives him presents every year in our giving tree. But somehow he doesn't believe they come from Santa. The magical man skips his house, too busy to bother with this little boy. For him this night holds no magic, no joy.
I sat in church listening to the message of hope and joy God sent to us and prayed that God sends this little one some joy tomorrow. It doesn't have to be in the form of a magical man in red, or even in the form of presents. Just some joy to let him know that he deserves joy, deserves to be happy, and is a special one of God's children.