Since Feature Friday is about "People & Horses Helping Horses & People" featuring Santa Claus today might be a stretch, but I've seen plenty of Christmas cards and art where Santa makes his deliveries in horse drawn sleighs. And Santa Claus does deliver presents to horses all over the world too. I have that on good authority. And since Feature Friday is about spreading the word about the good that people do to help others, and share love, build smiles and spread goodwill, I think Ol' Santa fits right in. And besides, Ravishin' Robbie requested it.
Some say Santa Claus has his origins with the life of Saint Nicholas, a fourth century Bishop who gave gifts to the poor. Some say it was the poem written by Clement Clark Moore, "An Account of a Visit from St Nicholas," for his children that gave birth to our modern day understanding of the "Jolly Old Elf." Thomas Nast later gave us the look we all know and love with his cartoon published in Harper's Weekly in 1863. Stories abound as to how Saint Nicholas transformed over the years to our beloved Santa Claus, and each of these stories are steeped in the kindness, giving and love for others.
Ah Santa Claus. Who among us has not smiled as we dropped our spare change in the red metal bucket hanging next to a Salvation Army volunteer dressed in a Santa suit, ringing a tiny bell and wishing us all Merry Christmas? Santa Claus is the main attraction of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has long been the official send off to the Christmas season.
Santa Claus carries with him, in his sleigh, in his sack and I submit in his heart, not just trinkets, toys and presents, but the very spirit of the Christmas season ... Love, caring, happiness and sharing. When you're out and about and see the children lined up waiting for that all important moment when they, perched on his lap, have Santa's ear, don't you smile and chuckle sometimes in spite of yourself? Ah, friend, that's the magic of Santa.
When your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews assure you they've been good and promise to be good all year, that too is the magic of Santa Claus. For you see, the magic of Santa is the spirit of goodness, goodwill and peace.
When you set out the plate of cookies and cup of milk for Santa with your children, or remember years gone by when your children were just tots and they knew without question he would soon be in their very own living room slipping presents under the tree, don't you feel the love and excitement in the air? That's the magic of Santa.
Santa Claus has a special kind of magic. A kind of magic that can brighten every heart, young and old, rich or poor. Santa Claus doesn't ask that we do anything to feel his magic, except to be nice. Isn't that a grand kind of magic?