Blue striped shirts and Santa!
By Father Bob Kraig The upcoming holiday season (or current – depending on how you see it) always brings to mind how my relationship with Santa Claus changed. I remember my mom taking me downtown to see Santa at Higbees on the seventh floor as was our custom. I anxiously awaited my turn to see Santa – I was in the second grade – and then I walked up the ramp to visit him and tell him what I wanted for Christmas.
I noticed that while I was talking to Santa that he had on a blue striped shirt very similar to what my dad would wear to work. When it was over I can still see myself walking down the ramp. And the very first question I asked my mom was: ‘how come Santa’s wearing a blue striped blue shirt like daddy wears to work?’
The only thing I can’t remember is my mother’s response. However, I do recall that at supper that evening we discussed the situation and my relationship with Santa forever changed.
If there is anything I would encourage us to reflect on this Advent/Christmas season (which begins next Sunday with the first Sunday of Advent) it is to ask ourselves one simple question: ‘Is this going to be another Christmas holiday season or will my relationship with God change?’
We don’t need to talk about how there are so many distractions at Christmas and we’ve lost the real meaning of the season. What is important, however, is that God has and is coming into our lives. We need to ask ourselves if that has any meaning. No matter where we are in our faith journey, what my past has been, how we have failed, God is present. Just as a blue striped shirt meant a different relation with Santa for me so, too, God taking on our flesh, becoming one of us, being born in a smelly and stinky stable calls us to a different relationship with God.
Don’t let this season pass by and have us saying: “I can’t wait until the holidays are over and things get back to normal!” No matter what we are experiencing God wants to be a part of it through Jesus. Resolve to take at least 5-10 minutes a day to ponder God coming into our lives. And maybe even do it while wearing a blue striped shirt.