But Christmas...now there is some rock solid faith. I may have had an iffy concept of God but I had complete certainty of who Santa was and what he was all about. I didn't need a church to bolster my faith and soothe my doubts. I knew!
Let me tell ya why.
Long, long ago, around Christmas time, my parents dragged us to the Sears & Roebuck department store for a dreary day of shopping. Usually, the one highlight to these annual excursions was a chance to sit on Santa's lap and clue him in on what you wanted Christmas morning. This is important stuff for a kid. If Santa doesn't get your order right you might wind up with nothing but new underwear and a couple of shirts. Still...on one particular day....I was terrified at the thought of facing Santa. You see, I had been recently naughty. I don't remember what it was but it had something to do with something happening in the first grade; so I must have been about six years old or something. All I do remember is the fear that I had blown it for myself for Christmas. I was convinced that as soon as I sat on Santa's lap, he would look into my eyes, tell me what I had done, and call security to have me thrown out of the store.
He keeps a list. He knows if you've been bad or good. I was screwed.
Well...despite my protests....my Dad ordered me to sit on the man's lap or face a whuppin when he got me home. So I did. I walked up to Santa, sat in his lap, dared not look at his face, and blurted out in a soft mumble "I'm sorry Santa. I was bad but I'll be good from now on".
The man dressed in costume patted me on the head and replied "Santa knows you are a good boy". Then he ho-ho-hoed and handed me a candy cane.
The exquisite joy of being forgiven!
Religion often claims to provide that.....Santa delivered.