Elf is one of my Christmas highlights. It’s the film I put on first and the one I quote most often. I subscribe to eating the four main food groups; sugar, candy corn, candy cane and candy. I mean, it counts if you continue this all year round right?
I also love smiling, singing and spreading Christmas cheer.
But I don’t believe in Santa. I know…it may make you quake more when I confess, I’ve never believed in Santa. I was never told he was real, and I never feel I missed out. Jesus was (is) real, Santa was (is) a big pretend.
Buddy the Elf however, believes in Santa. He’s spoken to Santa, spent time with Santa. He knows Santa. Santa, along with Papa Elf, has provided a voice of reason in Buddy’s life.
Buddy has absolutely no qualms therefore, in sharing Santa with everyone he meets – after all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. I accidentally emulated Buddy at the bus stop earlier today, although I’m not sure that OMI’s Cheerleader spreads cheer in quite the same way…. While I don’t envy Buddy his social naivety, I do envy his shameless enthusiasm for what he believes in.
I believe in God. I’ve spoken to God, spent time with God. I know God. And much like Santa and Buddy, God knows me. If I turn up in the middle of a dire situation, I know God can use me despite my failings, as much as Santa uses Buddy to help even though he seems neither elf nor human.
Buddy’s never been thrown out the North Pole because he wasn’t a perfect fit, but the people who know Buddy value him for exactly who he is, inability to build more than 85 Etch-a-Sketches a day and all. And this is what church should be like. Each of us valued on our talents. Buddy was the ideal person to share Santa’s existence in New York City in a way the other elves weren’t. He was more visually relatable to the people living there, though perhaps not entirely in mindset. We’re not all designed to function the same, and what might seem like a strange quirk is actually a God-given design to fit you exactly for a task ahead.
But what inspires me most about Buddy is his dedicated preparation for the arrival of Santa. When he hears that Santa’s coming (SANTAAAAAA!) his excitement culminates in a whisper, “I know him. I know him.”. He spends the night in preparation, producing an awe-inspiring scene.
But how often do I get that excited about the return of Jesus? I know him, yet my dedication in preparing for his return can be lacking when compared to the total overhaul Buddy works in the store. Buddy wants to share the good news of Santa’s impending arrival with everyone, while I sometimes stay uncomfortably silent about the fact Jesus will return. Why, when actually I’m as excited about Jesus’ return as Buddy is about Santa’s?
This Christmas, I want to be as excited, unembarrassed and enthusiastic as Buddy in my pursuit, sharing and praise of Jesus. Why would He come to earth and make himself into a refugee, born into a lowly status unless there was good reason? And there is good reason – you, and you alone, were reason enough. So I’m off to eat sugar, in all it’s various forms, prepare for the anniversary of Jesus’s birth, and to get to know him better before He comes back again. In a paraphrase of the elves’ words – if you want it, there’s room for you on the nice list.