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Jingle Bells Believer


DENNIS THE MENACE has the answer.

A while back, Dennis and his Friend Joey were in line waiting to talk to Santa. Dennis said, “It’s not so important that you believe in Santa Claus Joey, as long as he believes in you!”

I wish I had thought to say that to the expert on the playground of my childhood. Her name was Sandra; and I learned what she had found out about Santa Claus the same winter morning I learned what happens to little boys who hit little girls. Neither lesson felt much like good news nor anything else I personally wanted to know.

Please indulge me. “Hey Sandra, so what! The important thing is whether Santa Claus believes in you. That’s almost the same thing my mother told me when I told her what you said. That also was when she told me that, no matter what you said, little boys really shouldn’t hit little girls.”

Does Santa Claus believe in you?

Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on the spirit in which you give your gifts. Here is how you can know for sure.

Brightly wrapped packages and cheerful words are quite nice. Most anyone would enjoy being on the receiving side of your generosity. Santa looks for the spirit that comes with your gifts though. It is what counts the most. You have been told that before and it is the truth.

Does a gift from you come with these value-added extras?

• Your affection and acceptance of the person getting your gift.

• Your promise to be considerate of the person’s feelings and needs.

• Your willingness to give of yourself in ways that are gentle and helpful.

• Your pledge of honesty and loyalty.

Santa will be pleased.

Not every present you give needs these added values. Sometimes you give someone a present and they give you one. It’s the social thing to do.

Your family and special friends deserve much more from you though. When you care enough to be sure that your gifts to them include these value-added extras, they are reminded that Santa Claus believes in them.

This is the real treat. If you include these value-added extras with each gift you give to people you love, Santa will believe in you too.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.