Archive for December 17th, 2008

“The ANGELS Make It Possible, Dad.”

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

As a kid growing up in North Texas, I had the great fortune to be in viewing range of what was then WBAP-TV, Channel 5. The weatherman at that station was Harold Taft. Every Christmas Eve, he would have the camera zoom in on the radar, where I could see that Santa – in an extremely low-tech sleigh – was headed straight for my house. It was magic, and is one of my many wonderful Christmas memories.

By the time our son Erik was born, that magic was gone from the local newscasts – a fact which became glaringly obvious to me the Christmas that Erik was 4. He and I were watching the evening news together, both snuggled into my easy chair. A Ted Baxter-type (which is a meaningless cultural reference for those of you too young to remember the Mary Tyler Moore TV show) began to prattle about a current wire service story calculating how little time Santa would have to stop at each house in the world – even if he used the time zones in his favor. As I recall, he claimed that St. Nick would have less than 1/100th of a second per house.

At this awful news, Erik got up from the chair and went off by himself to ponder the implications. Meanwhile, I contemplated the scathing letter I was going to write the talking head from TV. But soon, Erik was back, and he had experienced an epiphany – a “Eureka!” moment of crystal clarity – that made my wrath at the news anchor vanish completely.

“Dad,” he said. “Since Santa is friends with God and Jesus, and the angels work for God, I’ll bet that – at Christmas – Santa asks God if he can borrow His angels to help him deliver presents to all those kids around the world who would never get one if Santa had to work alone. It’s the angels that make it possible.”

I congratulated him on arriving at the only possible answer, and told him that he absolutely had to be right. I may have neglected to mention that the reason I was so sure of this was that the angels at our house need about 4 hours to put a bicycle together. (We’re not very good at that 1/100th of a second thing.)

I had thought the magic of the season was gone forever. But that’s because I’d been looking at Christmas through my eyes, not my 4-year old’s. Now that I know where (and how) to look, there is Christmas magic everywhere. So the next time holiday stresses rob you of your Yuletide joy, spend a moment seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child.

They see the angels all around us that you and I sometimes overlook.