Santa and "The Nativity"

Dear Santa: 

I just saw a motion picture called The Nativity Story.  I did not see you in the movie.  I did not see any reindeer.  I did see some other animals like sheep, donkeys and camels.  Furthermore, I did not see any Christmas trees. 

The three wise men were in the movie and they did bring gifts to the newborn baby Jesus.  Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  I take it that Joseph and Mary were going to need these gifts if they were going to survive several years in Egypt.  Because King Herod was so paranoid about the Messiah coming onto the scene, he decided to have all male children two years of age and under killed.  This fact prompted the journey to Egypt by this family.  While the movie ended with Jesus' birth in a manger, I know the next part of the story because I have read the Bible.  By the way, you're not in the Bible either.

This is not to say I don't appreciate your efforts during Christmas.  The fact that you are based on a saint of old is actually a pretty good thing.  I know that you are to represent giving and goodness and being jolly and caring.  All of those things are not to be underappreciated.  It's all well and good.  My only criticism (and I know you can handle a little criticism) is that you seem to take away too much from the real ‘Reason for the Season'.

The Nativity Story tells that story.  The movie is well done in that it presents the most important and complex and consequential birth in human history and does it simply and movingly.  No Hollywood special effects, no loud music, no tricks of the trade razzle dazzle.  Even the appearance of an angel is low key and dignified; almost nonchalant.  This aspect of the story was handled as if people saw angels all the time.  Truth is, there is only one angel depicted in the movie.  The Bible says there were a multitude of angles that appeared to the shepherds and after offering their message (A Savior is Born, Peace on Earth), returned into Heaven.  This would have been a good place for the Star Wars wizards.  But, the story didn't need that.

The story is told over and over again in human hearts.  It's told not only in December, but in every month of the calendar.  It's told in churches, yes, but also on street corners, diners, kitchen tables, in parks and in town squares.  Where ever a rejuvenated soul exists, the story is there.  It's in the way they live and they way they treat others.  It's in the way they help others and it's in the way they speak kindness and truth. 

So, Santa, keep delivery your toys and gifts.  Keep brightening the hearts and minds of young people all over the world.  But, know this, you too need a Savior.  Jesus, after all, was the ultimate Christmas gift. 


Your Friend,
J. James Estrada
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