Below is an essay that I sent to those on the Cove Presbyterian Church e-mailing list. You can hear a podcast of this message by going to the Cove Presbyterian Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information.
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And yet that’s not the case. Every picture I’ve seen of the big guy, he’s got a big smile on face, and his hands are on his jelly-like belly just so it doesn’t jiggle too much. As a matter of fact, I think he always looks like he’s just heard some absolutely wonderful news, you know, the kind of thing that can turn any smile upside down. And his “Ho, Ho, Ho” never sound forced or fake, and I sincerely believe him when he tells me to have a Merry Christmas, because I think that’s exactly what he’s having. And as he does his work, in spite of the obvious time constraints, he never seems hurried. He never seems rushed. He never seems impatient. And I’ve never gotten the impression that he’d prefer to leave a gift certificate or something from Amazon rather than a shiny new bike or a Red Rider air gun. As a matter of fact, when I went to the movies this past Monday, I saw a film of him actually taking the time to drink a coke. Now that’s a guy who knows how to smell the flowers.
Of course, this engaged and optimist Santa stands in pretty sharp contrast not only with a lot of folks I see all the time but also how I feel on a less than stellar day. You see, even though I don’t have the physical limitations of St. Nick and I don’t have the stress he faces every year, I’m not sure you could classify me as jolly. Of course I have my moments. But I’ve got to admit, I complain more than I should, especially about things over which I have no control. And I’ve been known to say things with an edge, maybe even a little sarcasm. And you can take it to the bank, I’m irritated every time I’m interrupted when I think I’ve got something important to do. Therefore, even though I may not be the Grinchiest person in Weirton, I’m certainly not the jolliest either.