Stingy Santa

by MW Cook

Do you remember this one?  It was always one of my favorites.  It still is and I want to tell you why.

You have Larry, a picture of a normal Christmas observer.  He wants to honor Santa.  With what does he honor Santa?  With cookies, because that’s what he’s good at.  But things don’t turn out the way he expects.

Instead of Santa, evil people show up, planning to do him harm.  But, as a faithful follower of the spirit of Christmas, he gives good gifts in return for their evil intent, thus winning them over.  That and that alone stands out and shouts a seriously Christ-centered worldview.  Yay for VeggieTales.

But then things get complicated.

Santa, the figurehead of Christmas, shows up, full of good intents for Larry.  But then he sees the robber and viking.  His response?  Threats and violence!  “No one messes with Santa!”  The deep, glorious worldview that Larry was living out is denied by its figurehead.  I can’t help but think of the West and the Western Church.  We are looked upon as the beacon of Faith and Jesus, yet when we have an opportunity to do something for someone who doesn’t earn it, we drop the ball.  We love those who love us and punish the rest.  We’re Santa, a fool in a red suit who only helps the ‘nice’.  Larry hardly exists.

I’d rather be Larry.

But what about the IRS guy?  Larry slams the door on him.  Why?  Why did the IRS guy earn a cold shoulder when the violent viking and crafty bank robber got yummy cookies?

I find myself thinking that the IRS guy represents official religious convention.  The letters and the law.  The strict adherence to dead form.  Larry won’t let that into his house.

Yet I find myself thinking that, in Santa’s book, the IRS guy would have gotten endorsement.

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