In December of last year, Phillip Bump wrote an article for The Atlantic that examined the Christmas Eve workload of the jolly old elf. Using data from the CIA, Bump focused his article on Santa’s deliveries to the world’s 526,000,000 Christian kids 14 years of age and younger.
Bump determined that Santa would need to “deliver presents to almost 22 million kids an hour, every hour, on the night before Christmas. That’s about 365,000 kids a minute; about 6,100 a second.” In the spirit of Christmas and in child-like faith, Bump concluded this is “Totally doable,” and later in the article, he said: “If anyone ever desired sainthood, it is Nick.”
The anticipation of Christmas is hard to contain when you’re a child. I can remember how quickly I hurried home after school so I could watch Santa’s Workshop on a black and white TV. The days from Thanksgiving to Christmas passed by with the agonizing speed of a turtle.
As a child, I thought Christmas would never come; and, truthfully, I gave very little thought to its significance. The desire that I had for the brightly wrapped gifts carefully placed beneath the bright lights and icicles hanging on the Christmas tree, had little to do with the Christ of Christmas.
So, what is Christmas? It certainly isn’t big box stores opening on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the birth and arrival of frenzied shopping. Christmas is the birth of Hope. It is a time to step away from the hustle and bustle of the mobs and the malls to find a moment of solitude to reflect on what God has done for us.
Christmas is that day long ago when Jesus stepped down from the glories of heaven to be born in a lowly manger; to live a sinless life; to die the death of the cross; to rise again on the third day, and to return to heaven to intercede on our behalf.
The Apostle Paul summarized the life of Christ, when he wrote: Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: Jesus appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory ( I Timothy 3:16).