Advent Devotional December 5: Written by Miriam Collins in 1988

2 Corinthians 5:15
Curled up on the big iron double bed watching my mother brush her luxurious dark hair, I was nervously trying to ask the BIG QUESTION as casually as possible. (I guess I was almost six). Finally, hesitantly I asked, “Mother, who is Santa Claus?” The troublesome question didn’t seem to bother her at all and, with that Alabama drawl, she replied, “Santa Claus is dressed-up love.” That was just the answer I wanted! The next day I went back to school boasting, “I know who Santa Claus is. He is dressed-up love!”
My friends accepted that – at least for a day. But for me, it has been an answer that has lasted a lifetime, for it kept the sparkle and glow of Christmas all intact and gently turned me in a different direction with a new perspective.
Today, whether I wake up a bah-humbug-pre-ghost-Scrooge-Christmas watcher or an on-the-treadmill-do-it-all-Christmas-participant, the thought of “dressed-up love” filters through my consciousness like sunlight through a green canopy of leaves in the early morning. And once again, I realize that the myriad of things to do at Christmas can become tiny reminders of God’s putting His love into a form humanity could touch and understand… “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”
Then, to my day, His joy gives vitality, and freshness, and meaning – like soft, slow rain on dry, cracked earth. 
The happiest of Christmases from our home to yours!!

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