christmas grinchI’ve had sort of a grudge with old Mr. Santa Claus. I was introduced to Santa Claus by my parents, who informed me that he was the one that brought all of my Christmas presents on Christmas day. And I believe my parents.

I remember on Christmas Eve we had to go to bed early to give Santa Claus time to deliver our presents under the tree. It was hard to sleep that early on Christmas Eve knowing that Santa was coming with Christmas presents. Finally, we did fall asleep only to wake up Christmas day with the tree filled with our Christmas presents.

I did not know the real identity of Santa Claus until many years later.

I was six years old when my parents first took me to see Santa Claus. I stood in the line and waited my turn to climb up on his lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas. That first Christmas time, I told Santa that all I wanted for Christmas was a pony. Just a pony.

At the time, he told me that that was a good wish and he would see to it that I got my Christmas present when I needed it. I was so anxious when I jumped off his lap, I went over to my parents and told them Santa would get me a pony for Christmas.

Looking at me, my parents just smiled, patted my head, and said, “Okay, it’s time to go home now.”

That was two weeks before Christmas, and during those two weeks, I was ecstatic about that pony that was coming because my parents always told me Santa Claus never lies. So I can trust him as much as I can trust them. That turned out to be true.

That Christmas Eve, I could hardly go to bed. Once in bed, I could not keep my eyes shut thinking about that marvelous pony Santa would give me for my Christmas present. I kept thinking about the name I would use for that pony. I had half a dozen names; it just jingled through my mind.

This was going to be the best Christmas I would ever have.

I don’t know how I did it, but I finally drifted off to sleep and dreamed about my Christmas pony.

When I awoke that Christmas morning, I was so excited, I could hardly get out of bed quick enough. So I ran downstairs to the Christmas tree, expecting to see my Christmas pony. When I didn’t see it, I asked my parents where it was. All they could say was, “Well, we haven’t seen it. Maybe it’s just late.”

Before we could open our presents, we had to go and have breakfast, and we tried to make that as fast as possible. Then after breakfast, we were able to go to the Christmas tree and open up our Christmas presents as a family.

I was a little depressed because my little Christmas pony was nowhere to be seen.

There was no explanation for that. All I could do was hope that maybe it would come true next year.

“Well, son,” my father said to me as seriously as possible, “maybe your Christmas pony will come next year. So let’s just hope for it.”

That was a long year for me. So every month that went by, I thought about that Christmas pony.

Then, finally, December came into view. I began getting excited about my Christmas pony because this year was probably the year. Last year I was only six, but this year I was a full seven years old, old enough to take care of a Christmas pony.

Again, my parents took my siblings and me downtown to see Santa Claus. I stood in line with my brother and sister, anxiously waiting for the time to confront Mr. Santa Claus.

Then my turn came, and I walked up to Santa, sat on his lap, and began the conversation.

The first thing I said was, “Santa, the Christmas pony you promised last year never came. Why didn’t it come?”

I didn’t realize that this was a different person; I just thought it was Santa Claus. He looked at me and said, “Ho ho ho, I’m not sure why it didn’t come, but I’ll check into it and see if it got lost on the way down from the North Pole, ho ho ho.”

Then I told him what I wanted for Christmas, and all I wanted was a Christmas pony. He assured me that he would check into this and make sure that my Christmas pony arrived on time this year. Then he said, “Just have faith, ho ho ho.”

This continued for the next ten years, and to this day, I have never seen that Christmas pony. So I began to think that maybe that old Santa Claus was a fake.

As I thought about this, I remembered a verse of Scripture. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The only truth is what comes from God’s word. I know this verse is often taken out of context, or only half of it is given. When I discovered the truth out of God’s word, it sets me free from everything else in the world.

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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