By: Judy Lyden
It's nearly Christmas, and the world is shining like a great bright star. What a child wants for Christmas has been jotted down and sent home. The reindeer faces are still on the classroom door, the mom-dad gifts are made and ready to go home, the smells and tastes of Christmas hang in the air and in the mouth, and the mystery of what it's all about takes rough shape in a child's mind.
"How does he do it?" You ask softly beginning to talk about Santa to a group of fidgety children.
I began to tell the children about the third century man, Nicholas who cured children's skin diseases, who raised three children from a pickle barrel, gave to the poor, served as a bishop, grew old and died just like any man does.
Nicholas didn't have to think very long. "I want to go back and visit the children," he said quickly. "I shall miss them very much, and I want to check out that they are OK, every once in a while," or so the story goes.
"Every child?" asked God with a broad smile.
"Oh, yes," said Nicholas with a very serious face. "Some of them suffer a lot, and I just want to know who needs what when and where."
"Mmmm," said Nicholas, "Since it's your birthday, God, I will take them all a little gift."
"Yes, I think so."
So between God and Nick, they decided to set up shop at the North Pole, simply because nobody lives up there to bother all the work he set out to do. You know, toy making and game making and doll stitching, and what have you.
"You'll need a wife this time," said God and so Mrs. Claus came to live with Nichaolas, and Nicholas was given a whole battalion of elves, known as elvises to make the toys and help Santa distribute them.
Anyway, Brendan met with Santa and had tea with him and Mrs. Claus and was told the whole long story which was 17 centuries long. While Santa was talking, Mrs. Claus made reindeer cookies which she said were the elves favorite. She dips the antlers into chocolate.
"So why does the sleigh look so small in the picture books?" asked a child.
"It's perspective," said I casually. "When you look up and see a plane, it looks a lot smaller up there than down here parked on the tarmac. It's the same thing. Santa flies really high so he can go really fast."
It was a whole story without a single fidget. The smart kids really honed in on the details. When you add the little personal touches to a story for children, they eat it up – tomorrow we'll have reindeer cookies and a story about Mrs. Claus.