Santa Claus? — Karen Campbell, UK

I never believed in Santa Claus –
That jolly man in red,
Squeezing down the chimney pot
When all should be in bed.
I never thought he brought me presents
Neatly wrapped beneath the tree –
I knew my Mum looked through her catalogue
And ordered gifts for me.

And not just me, you understand –
But all my fam’ly too –
She scrimped and saved, paid bit-by-bit,
So all had something new –
A toy, a game, a gadget;
Pleasure writ on every face
As we gathered round for fam’ly time
And each one knew their place.

But it was never just ’bout presents
Tho we longed to dive right in –
There was something that we had to do
So Christmas could ‘begin’:
Find ourselves along to church,
Spend time immersed again
In a story of such wonder –
Selfless giving; joy and pain.

A Parent’s love, unending;
A young girl who’d give her all;
A Baby born in still of night
Within a cattle stall.
A Holy Family gathered;
Shepherds led by shining star;
Angel choirs singing;
Wise ones travelling from afar.

A gift to Earth from Heaven –
And still no Santa Claus,
But a Parent’s costly giving
Born of love, and without pause;
Reaching out both near and far –
Through all of time and space –
Drawing all the children in
Where each finds worth and place.

No games, or toys, or gadgets,
Yet each person has their share
In the gift to Earth from Heaven –
Peace, love, justice. Everywhere.
But don’t go seeking Santa Claus
To spread the gift around –
In our words, and thoughts, and actions
Must this all-time gift be found.

So, at Christmas I will gather
With my fam’ly round the tree –
Fun and food and mayhem
Bright-wrapped gifts for them, and me.
But the real gift is long-given –
Ours to take and share and give,
Yet still no role for Santa Claus –
Just Christ-lit lives to live.

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