“When I look down in those trusting eyes,
That look to me, I realize,
There’s love that I can’t hide.
Thank God for kids.
Thank God for kids there’s magic for a while,
A special kind of sunshine in a smile.
Do you ever stop to think or wonder why
The nearest thing to Heaven is a child?”
From a song by the Oakridge Boys
I love Christmas. Besides the family, friends, and food, I have been blessed with a special honour – I get to be Santa.
Hey, I understand that the real Santa is busy at the North Pole, preparing for his yearly “one-night stand. ” He physically cannot appear at the pre-Christmas events, so I get to be his look-alike assistant. I get to experience something special and magical in children of all ages.
Here’s the truth folks; I feel as if I am the one receiving the gifts during these interactions.
My friend, Bob, also has this honour. He shared one of his experiences.
Bob was Santa at a large community gathering. Two young boys were next in line to sit on his lap. They were poorly dressed and dirty. These brothers were known as bad kids. Their family was struggling financially. Physical, mental, and verbal abuse were commonplace for these boys. Bob had chatted with these boys in the past. Usually, they seemed fearful, aloof, and distrustful. They rarely looked him in the eyes, and if they did, their eyes were sullen, dull, and gloomy.
But this time, it was different. Together the boys jumped onto Bob’s knees. They gazed deeply into his eyes, as if searching for truth. Their eyes sparkled and danced. They were radiant and bright. Bob described the look as purity, innocence, and trust. The boys gave him warm, genuine hugs. They had huge smiles.
They chatted about Santa things such as elves, reindeer, and Mrs. Claus. With hesitance, Bob asked them what they wanted for Christmas. This job has its limitations. Normally, he could promise that Santa would leave something special for the child. In this case, he didn’t know.
Instead of the usual list of popular toys, they asked for a happy day with their family, without yelling and fighting. They wanted a day with food enough so that no one in the world was hungry.
With tears running down his cheeks, Bob asked, “Will you be my special helpers? This gift is more than I can handle on my own. ”
They were eager.
Santa Bob said, ”To have happiness, we must “be” happy. To have joy, we must “be” joyous. To have love, we must “be” love. ”
The boys grinned with understanding.
“If we work together to share happiness, joy, and love wherever we go, and with everyone we meet, we can create happy days for ourselves. And if we share these things with others, it will help others be happy too. ”
Bob continued, “This job is much bigger than Christmas. It must be every day, year-round. Sometimes others may say bad things or treat you in mean ways. These are tests to see if you can be strong, and continue to be happy, joyful, and loving, everyday. Are you still willing to be my helpers?”
With excitement, they agreed, gave him big hugs, jumped off of his knees, and skipped away, laughing and smiling.
Did it make a positive difference in their lives? We don’t know, but it put a jump in their steps and a sparkle in their eyes that day.
At this time of year, regardless of your beliefs about Christmas, something enchanting occurs in people – the child emerges. Youthful love and innocence are rekindled.
I believe that we are all children. Yes, some have a few more years of experience than others. Some have a few more wounds, scars, and blemishes, but we are all children. I believe that we can choose to let that inner child emerge, and create longer, healthier, more loving, and fun lives.
With that in mind, my challenge for you is to take Santa Bob’s advice every day of the year: “be” happy, “be” joyous, “be” love. We must consciously “be” these things; we cannot “do” them.
Do things get in your way of “being”?
Does the weather, your job, the economy, and the “jerks” on the road or in the shopping mall “P…” you off now and then?
Remember Bob’s words, “These are tests to see if you can be strong, and continue to be happy, joyful, and loving, all of the time. ”
Be strong my friends, and keep this spirit alive through this festive season and throughout the coming year. Make it a life-long habit.
And the ending to the song?
“Hmmm, thank God for kids!”
Dan Ohler is Thinkin’ Outside The Barn!
Dan writes and speaks internationally on relationships, happiness, and change. He helps you learn the secrets to create life-long flourishing relationships and abounding success.
For FREE how-you-can-do-it-too articles, visit http://ThinkinOutsideTheBarn.com/
To order your copy of “Thinkin’ Outside The Barn And Steppin’ Into Fresh B. S. " visit http://ThinkinOutsideTheBarn.com/