The Fat Man Is Coming To Town
“I’m not staying at that hotel and have to look at “the Fat Man” all weekend!” Sonny said, only half jokingly.
The four of us had met in our favorite place, Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN, in the Great Smoky Mountains, as we so often do. Sonny, Reva, Charles, and I were talking about all the nice places to stay down there. I just happened to mention that the new Christmas Place Inn was open, and that I had heard it is really nice. It was a mere suggestion. Who would have thought that my brother, who is nearly seventy years old, still held a grudge against the Fat Man, as he had named Santa Claus.
We lived a very sheltered life growing up. I remember hearing the horrid rumors at school about Santa Claus not being real, but I couldn’t, wouldn’t believe them. I was about nine years old when I asked Mother, “Mother, is Santa Claus real?” Mother was driving us either to or from school. “Pamela” she replied in her sweet tone. “Santa is the spirit of Christmas. He represents how we should give to others during the season of celebrating Christ’s birth, because God gave His only begotten son to us as a gift.” My heart fell to my feet as I realized what she was saying, but yet there was hope.
I remembered everything I had been taught about Jesus, and I loved Him. I didn’t really mind if Santa wasn’t real. But, he was real! He made footprints in the snow, climbed on the roof and banged around, jingled bells outside the bedroom windows, and yelled HO HO HO. I didnt imagine that, I really heard it.
I heard it because Daddy and Mother loved everything about Christmas. Daddy went to all of that trouble to create an experience for us. Even after I knew it was him, I allowed my imagination to take over and transport me to a fantasy world of a real Santa Claus. I believed, even after I knew better.
Since Sonny is twelve years older than me, I don’t know where the ball got dropped along the way, but he believed in “the Fat Man” until he was sixteen! THAT’s how sheltered we were! He still harbors hard feelings that our parents allowed him to go on in his ignorance into his teen years.
Saint Nicholas was a man who had Christ at the center of his life and ministry. He ministered to the needs of people. He took toys to the children and gave people money. He emplified what Jesus did for us, when He gave His life for us as a free gift of salvation to those who believe.
Christmas is about showing others how much you love them. It’s a time of letting your light so shine before men that they may see the Lord, which is inside you.
Yes, Sonny. There is a real Santa Claus. He lives in the imagination of every one of us. Christmas is about becoming childlike. Its’ about giving and receiving. It’s about love.
Believe in the Fat Man!
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