santa claus naughtyEverybody has their own definition of what naughty is. So my great concern is why we allow this man called Santa Claus from the North Pole to determine who is naughty or nice?

For some reason, I got on Santa’s naughty list this year. You might ask, “How do you know that you’re on his naughty list?”

The answer to that is very simple, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said to me this past week, “I think you’re on Santa’s naughty list this year.”

I don’t know how she knew that, but I never question what she knows or doesn’t know. So if she says I’m on Santa’s naughty list, I am for sure on Santa’s naughty list.

The problem is that she has a different definition of naughty than I do.

Her definition of naughty is eating apple fritters.

My definition of naughty is eating broccoli.

Right here, the Twain shall never come together.

The only way that Santa could know that I have been naughty this past year is if he got the information from The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. That in itself seems to me to be quite naughty. But you didn’t hear it from me.

If being naughty is eating an apple fritter, then I shall be naughty till the day I die. After all, any Apple fritter is worth it.

That being settled, it is very clear that I know how to be naughty. The Apple fritter is just one aspect of my naughtiness. So what I need to investigate is how in the world can I get on Santa’s nice list?

What can I do this coming year to guarantee a spot on that infamous list?

To be sure, I will not be asking The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage because then she will tell me, and I will be in deep trouble. I can almost hear what she would say in this regard.

But I need to figure out for myself what it really means to be nice. I thought I was a nice person, but what I think doesn’t really matter. What can I do to be nice to the people around me?

And if I am nice to the people around me, will Santa notice? What can I do to get his attention?

After all, this infamous character supposedly lives in the North Pole, so how would he know what I’m doing way down here?

I spent some time the other day thinking about this and trying to come up with a list of things I could do to reveal the nice quality of myself to people around me. After a couple of hours of such meditation, I did not come up with a single thing I could do to reveal my niceness.

My first focus was, how can I be nice to my wife? After all, she’s nice to me, so how can I reciprocate?

After living with her for so long, I have come to the conclusion that anything I do, she can do much better. Everything I break, she can fix.

Then a thought did a Christmas dance in my head. Then, whenever she fixes anything, she is very happy because she can fix it. So what makes her happy is fixing things.

So, if I’m going to make her happy this coming year, I need to concentrate on breaking things. Everything I break will make her happy because then she can fix something. So why didn’t I think of this before?

I can think of so many things I can break that I didn’t know exactly where to start. It’s going to be important to start at the right place so that I can build on that throughout the year. After all, if something can be broken, I’m your man.

This was a great challenge for me because everything I break is an accident. To do this right, I will have to master having accidents.

A couple of years ago, I broke the front bumper of my truck. My wife was able to fix it using several paperclips.

Well, guess what my first accident was? You got it.

I pulled into a parking lot for some reason, went too far, and unintentionally broke the front bumper again. Actually, I didn’t know I had broken it; I just heard a sound and didn’t think too much about it.

Later that evening, my wife happened to go outside where my truck was parked and when she came in, she said with a smile all over her face, “Did you notice that your front bumper is broken again?”

At first, of course, I thought she was joking and laughed at her and said, “Is that right?”

She disappeared and, in a moment, came back with several paperclips and went back outside and fixed my truck.

I leaned back in my chair, smiled, and said to myself, “This is your first act of niceness for the year. What’s next?”

I was reminded of the words of Jesus when he said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

This coming year I certainly will exercise when Jesus says here and look forward to ways I can be nice, especially to my wife. Then, I might be able to loop over to being nice to other people. So I have a great year ahead of me.

Rev James Snyder videoDr. James L. Snyder, is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. James is an award winning author whose books are available at

Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected]. The church web site is

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