“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
What’s in a name? We talked about this a bit several times, looking at the creation story in Genesis, where ‘Adam” is given the task of naming all the creatures of the earth, thus having ‘dominion’ over them, metaphysically. That mean we are to have dominion over our thoughts.
So how important is a name? If we know our name, will we have dominion over ourselves? Interesting thought.
My name, or the story revolving around my name, could be considered interesting. I grew up believing my ‘official’ name was Sundra, some joke of my fathers to curse me for the rest of my life. No one has the name Sundra.
So, one day after I was on my own, my Mother choose to gift me with all my ‘important papers’, birth certificate, baptism certificate, certificate of vaccination.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my name was not Sundra, but Sondra. All these years wrong. All my official papers, wrong!
In fact, a former neighbor said my nickname should be Sonny, not Sandy!
Spiritually, a name means the character, or nature of that which is named.
SO, I wonder if not using my ‘real’ name all these years has led to my feelings of not fitting in ….? Not knowing my true name? Hummm…But that’s another days’ lesson.
What it does is lead us to our Children’s Christmas story for this week, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Have you watched the 1970 movie? It’s based upon a song written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit.
Again, something from our past to brighten our days.
The song and film tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be and it’s the story of Saint Nicholas.
And, as our previous two stories, it is a perennial favorite, it continues to air every year
Our story has a Grinch-like person in Burgermeister Meisterburger
Talk about having a name issue!
After being asked to raise an orphan baby, Burgermeister sends the baby to the “Orphan Asylum”. Due to a storm, the Baby never makes it there, but instead, ends up with the Elves- the Kringle Family in Rainbow River Valley…catch that name?
Tanta Kringle , the elf queen, and the five Kringle elf brothers Ringle, Dingle, Zingle, Tingle and Wingle, adopt the baby and name him “Kris”. As Kris grows up, he hopes to restore the Kringle family as “The First Toymakers to the King”.
When Kris is old enough, he volunteers to deliver the elves’ toys to nearby Sombertown; again a name issue!
Unfortunately, Mayor. Meisterburger falls because of a toy and so outlaws all toys in the town of Sombertown.
In the town, he offers toys to two children washing their stockings by a water fountain. He is stopped by Miss Jessica, their schoolteacher, but she softens toward Kris when he offers her a china doll as a “peace offering”.
As Kris gives more toys, the Burgermeister arrives to arrest the children, but Kris gives him a yo-yo. He at first happily plays with it, but Grimsley, his assistant, reminds him he’s breaking his own law, leading to Burgermeister ordering Kris’ capture.
As Kris returns to the Kringles, the Winter Warlock captures them. But when Kris gives him a toy train as a present, the Warlock befriends Kris. To repay him, he re-unites Kris with Jessica who informs him that the Burgermeister has destroyed all the toys and the children now want new ones.
Kris promises to do so if the children behave themselves, promising to watch them through his magic snowball. When the Burgermeister hears that Kris means to bring more toys, he orders all doors and windows to be locked as their houses are searched. But Kris enters by the chimneys where the children hung their stockings to dry by the fire and where Kris hides the toys.
So. Burgermeister sets a trap, and captures the Kringles and Winter. Jessica pleads to release her friends, but he refuses. Jessica then asks Winter to break everyone out, but he has no magic left except some magic feed corn that make reindeer fly. With the reindeer’s help, they all escape.
Kris is now an outlaw, so he grows a beard as a disguise. After Elf Queen Tanta suggests that he return to his birth name “Claus” for safety, Kris marries Jessica and the group travels to the North Pole to build their own castle and workshop.
As the years pass, Kris still has to travel by night because he’s still an outlaw. Eventually, the Meisterburgers die off and fell out of power and their laws were abolished.
The townspeople then look to Kris who becomes Santa Claus and Jessica becomes Mrs. Claus. Santa then decides to limit his journeys to one night a year and chooses the right night. Christmas Eve, the night of love.
Just as Santa is getting ready to leave, Winter tells him that he has his magic powers back to guarantee the world a white Christmas.
Did you catch all the Santa traditions that supposedly were started because of this tale? Santa’s beard, stockings by the chimney, flying reindeer, Kris Kringle, white Christmas, watching for good children…
Remember, this is suppose to be the story of Saint Nicholas, the 4th century Christian monk from Asia Minor.
What Lessons do we have here to learn, if we so choose?
Anything that brings joy to others brings joy & meaning to us
Being kind overpowers the not so kind intentions of others
Once again, we see that Love conquers all
Being true to ourselves is our answer to any question…what I call INTEGRITY.
Kris chose Christmas Eve to deliver his toys because it is “the night of profound love. “So you can see, why I chose “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” as the example of the Advent theme of Love. Kris and his friends found ways to express Love to Sombertown and to the world.
Advent is a time to contemplate the true nature of love, and allow its creative energy to direct our thoughts and actions.
We bring more love into our lives by letting love express through us. To get more one must give more….that works for many things…love, money, good will….
As William Shakespeare said regarding love; “The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”
And it again is an example of Jesus’ directive:
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)
The only examples of anything not love were expressed by others…
Burgermeister Meisterburger & his assistant, Grimsley, rather Scrooge like…and that name. I suggest we be careful what we name our children and even our pets!
The Winter Warlock, until he receives a toy train from Kris, which only goes to prove if you give a train to someone, you have made a friend!