My wife is the epitome of Christmas spirit. She is Santa Claus incarnate. She is Santa Clausette. We are near the tail end of a cross-country move from New York to Oregon, and still trying to find doctors and mechanics, grocery stores and gas stations, and she still has somehow found the time to put together the greatest Christmas of all for myself and our three girls.
Almost every day when I come home from work, something else is decorated for Christmas, or another batch of cookies has been made. Also, this year she rescued a stray cat from off the streets, and named it Christmas. She has decorated not just one Christmas tree, but four. Yes, four Christmas trees. She has put up boughs and lights inside and out. And every single day, she reads piles of Christmas stories to our three girls, lighting up their eyes (and hers) with wonder and delight.
This is the spirit of Christmas. She is Santa Clausette.
But beyond all the goodies and decorations, she has exhibited the Christmas spirit in two other tangible ways.
As we have been driving around Oregon, we have noticed many homeless people. They seem to be everywhere. Our friend, Sam, in California likes to give tarps, bottles of water, bags of chips, and socks to homeless people in his town, and when Wendy heard this, she decide to put together Christmas bags for the homeless people in our area. She bought a box of canvas bags, a box of blue tarps, several flats of water bottles, and along with the girls, put together “Christmas care packages” for the homeless.Each canvas bag gets filled with a tarp, bottles of water, snacks, food, and a candy cane or two.
We carry these bags around in our car, and every time we see a homeless person, we stop and give them one. This has also helped our girls to begin looking for homeless people instead of trying to avoid seeing them. They have also begun to recognize the homeless people as well. The other day we were driving through town and one of our girls said, “There’s a homeless lady! Let’s give her a gift bag!” But when we got near, one daughter said, “Oh, we gave her one last week. But that is okay. We can give her another one.” They recognized her. She was not a faceless person sitting on a corner holding a sign. She was a person in need, whom we could help. And she deserved two bags of goodies.
And my wife, Santa Clausette, thought of doing all this.
Then last week, she found out about a lady near where we live who moved up here from California. She was married to an abusive husband, and was scared that he would start abusing their daughter, and so she took the brave step of moving to a place where she had no home, no job, and no friends. My wife is putting together boxes for this lady and her daughter, and in the coming week, we are going to take it all to her. The boxes are filled with food, candles, cookies, some of our favorite Christmas books, Christmas ornaments, and numerous other items which we hope will help this lady and her daughter have a slightly better Christmas, and to know that there are people around her who love her and want to help care for her.
This is the spirit of Christmas. This is my wife.
Thank you, Wendy, for being Santa Clausette, the spirit of Christmas, for showing the light and love of Jesus to a hurting world by being His hands and His feet.
This post is part of the December Synchroblog in which the participants tell a story about the meaning of Christmas, and the advent of Jesus Christ. Below is a list of the other contributors. Go check them all out!
- Carol Kuniholm writing at Words Half Heard
- Liz Dyer celebrates Dreams Do Come True
- Leah Sophia digs in with Planting Hope
- Glen Hager reveals a story of Christmas Surgery
- Kathy Escobar wrestles with holiday expectations