"Ho! Ho! Ho!" a jolly man in a red suit came into the house proclaiming. Santa, here, at my house! I didn't know whether to be terrified or excited. I wasn't used to having that level of royalty in my house. For a 4 year old, I was in disbelief.
I'm not sure what happened next. Digital cameras did not exist and the pictures weren't uploaded to Facebook within moments of the actual event. All I remember is that Santa had to leave, and he did not leave via the chimney portal, he went out the front door. This was my chance to see the elusive reindeer and sleigh in the driveway. So, I tiptoed passed my parents and looked in the driveway, and what did eyes behold...
An old Buick...and Santa got in it. My memory compares it to the old Buick in Uncle Buck. This did not compute in my four year old brain. Something is not right, Santa can't leave in a Buick. My little brain did, however, compute disappointment and grief at this scene. To my parent's credit, though, some story was concocted to keep the belief alive, but the trauma had occurred nonetheless.
Not only did Santa leave in a Buick, he arrived in one as well. Somehow, with a hint of doubt, I still believed in Santa even though he didn't arrive or depart the way Santa should.
But isn't that the story of Christmas...Christ coming and leaving in a way nobody really expected. Could God actually arrive in this world in a manure smelling stable and leave nailed to pieces of wood? Truly unremarkable if you ask me--and yet he saved the world and is ruler over everything! My 29 year old brain has trouble computing this, and I believe (sometimes with a hint of doubt).
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