She was decorating her Christmas tree. The smile on her innocent face was worth watching. She picked up every little festoon with care and wrapped the tree with love. She was excited about Christmas. It was not only Christmas but her 8th birthday too. The excitement was about the secret that her granny promised to reveal. It was some secret about Santa. Last Christmas her granny promised that she would reveal the secret on her 8th birthday. She was just about to finish when her little sister Clara called out to her, “Nancy come soon, Granny is here”. Nancy left the tree half bedecked and rushed to her sister. Grand Ma is here, yay!!yay!!yay!!yay!! she sang on her marathon towards the door. Nancy loved her granny. The 2 reasons why she loved Christmas were her beloved Santa Claus and her darling Granny, Mary.
Grand Ma hugged Nancy and Clara and tears rolled down her cheeks. She was meeting her lovely grandchildren after a year. Both kids held their granny by her hand and welcomed her in. The excitement of the secret was evident in her bright sparkling eyes. “I remember my promise”, Granny smiled and told Nancy. Nancy was waiting for this day. The wait was long, very long but she knew it was worth. “Kids, granny has travelled a long way and needs rest. Let her take a nap” said Amy, Nancy’s mother. The kids left the room and got back in to the tree and its decoration. But Nancy was lost in the thought of the secret, that granny will reveal before the midnight mass.
The tree was up and ready and Clara was excited to hang her stocking to it. She wanted a toy train for Christmas and she knew Santa will drop it in there. She hung the stocking to the tree and looked at Nancy, “what do you want for Christmas?” Clara interrogated.”I will tell you once I get it”, replied Nancy showing no interest in Clara or her little stocking. She kept on scribbling something on a piece of paper. “Nancy, are you there? Granny called out to her. Nancy rushed towards the voice. “Yes Granny, I am here. The Christmas tree is also ready and so am I for the secret”, Nancy replied hurriedly.
Granny took Nancy to the porch and both of them sat on a small wooden plank nearby. Nancy, granny began. Today I will answer your question that you asked over the dinner during last Christmas. You wanted to know, who is Santa Claus? Where does he come from? Where does he go? Why he never meets us? Right? Nancy replied yes with a nod. She believed her Granny knew the secret about her beloved Santa Claus. Granny continued,” You are a Santa Claus”. Me???? Nancy exclaimed.” Yes my child, you are Santa and so am I. Even your mother is a Santa and so is your father”. Grand ma stopped for a while, she knew Nancy’s tiny little brain will take some time to process this newly fed information. Is Clara a Santa too Granny? Nancy curiously asked. Yes she is, answered Granny.
Nancy stood on the plank and looked up. She couldn’t believe she was “the Santa Claus” and there were not one but many in her home too. Granny, she began, “I don’t have a long beard and neither can I fly. Where is my sledge? I have no gifts to give. And believe me both mom and dad cannot be Santa Claus too, they stay with me all night when Santa Claus comes and drops the presents in the Christmas tree”.
Granny held little Nancy in her arms and said” oh my innocent little Santa, I will explain how. Do you know what the most important duty of a Santa Claus is? Nancy was confused and nodded a NO. It was getting complicated for her. I will tell you, said Granny and she began” Santa Claus brings gifts for all of us. He brings joy and smiles to our faces. He fulfills our wishes but he never waits for us to thank him. He comes, gives the present and leaves. This teaches us 3 most important things in life. One, always be the reason for everyone’s happiness, two, try and help people in their need and three don’t expect people to thank you for anything that you do for them. Be humble and share joy with everyone. If you do this, you will be a Santa Claus and will be loved by all”. Does that mean, we should not thank Santa Claus for the gifts? No my child, you should not forget to thank your Santa Claus. When you thank him, you actually thank God for the gift and this way you can express your love for your secret Santa and the Almighty God too.
Nancy tried hard to understand this and articulated all that her little mind could identify with, “Granny that means Mom and dad are my Secret Santa? Because they always make me happy, bring me gifts, they fulfill my wishes and sometimes even though I forget to thank them, they still love me”. “You are right my child”, agreed Granny. “Parents are our best Santa Claus, they bring us up and even though we forget to thank them, they never stop loving us. Similarly, we also have to inculcate the qualities of Santa Claus and become like him. God has made one Secret Santa for everyone, because he loves us. You could also be someone’s Secret Santa, this Christmas”. Before Granny could complete, the little kid questioned, how? Granny wanted Nancy to bring her piggy bank. Nancy obediently brought it and informed Granny that she has been saving money for a toy, which she is going to buy for Christmas this year.
Granny thought for a while and said, Nancy what if you don’t buy the toy for Christmas?” “I want to buy it; I have been saving for it” cried little Nancy. Granny knew it was difficult to persuade the kid. She thought for a while and asked Nancy who was her best friend at school. Marc, replied Nancy with a sad voice. “And why do you like him?” Granny asked with an intention to know more. I like him because he plays with me and is very kind to me. He helps me complete my homework and also teaches me how to ride a bicycle. But you know Granny he wears very old shoes, they are a little torn. Children at school laugh at him. Mom says his family is poor. His father lost his job and his mother cannot buy him shoes”. Nancy explained and granny listened with all the patience. When Nancy finished, granny asked Nancy, “Do you really like him?” Yes nodded Nancy. Granny put across another question; “Do you feel bad when children laugh at him?” Nancy nodded yes again. Granny brought the 3rd question; “do you want to be his Santa Claus?” Nancy jumped and said, yes Granny.
The little kid understood what her Granny was trying to say. But Granny she said in a soft tone” I don’t have enough money to buy him shoes. Shoes are costly. Will you lend me money to become a Santa Claus? Granny felt proud of her thoughtful grand-daughter and nodded in agreement. “Let’s go and buy the shoes for Marc”. She said “But who will take it to Marc? I don’t want Marc to thank me, I am his secret Santa. I want him to be happy but I don’t want to him to know this”. Granny smiled and looked at Nancy; she knew her little grand daughter was a noble soul. This must be the reason that she shared her birthday with God’s only son, Jesus. “Don’t worry child, your secret Santa will do it for you”. Granny tried explaining the little angel.
Nancy and granny bought a lovely pair of shoes for Marc. Nancy felt happy that she had become a secret Santa to her best friend. It was time for mid-night mass and the family got ready to go to church. After the mass was over granny met the priest at church and handed over the present to him. She narrated the entire story to him and said, “This is a gift from Marc’s secret Santa, for Marc. I request you to give it to Marc. Please do not tell him anything about Nancy”. The priest was surprised and said, “Blessed is your granddaughter and blessed is your family to have her. I will give it to Marc and believe me Nancy is god’s beloved child.“ Granny smiled at this and left.
The celebrations for Christmas began and the place was filled with colors of joy, laughter and warmth. The next morning Nancy woke up and found a gift next to her with a note which read, Your Santa is proud of you and I hope you will continue to be the secret Santa for all those in need, always. I have delivered your gift to Marc. God bless you my child. Merry Christmas and a very happy birthday Nancy!! Her little eyes sparkled with joy and she opened the gift. To her surprise she found the same toy that she wanted to buy for Christmas.” Grand Ma, look what my Santa gave me”. Grand Ma was baking the cake and she knew what Nancy was talking about. After all she was her darling Granddaughter’s Secret Santa. “Granny, I got the toy. My Santa knew and brought it for me. Thank you Santa Claus and I love you”. She jumped with joy. Nancy ran around the house with her toy and so did little Clara, her Santa bought a toy train for her.
The same evening Nancy was celebrating her 8th birthday and all her friends joined in her in the merriment. Her dear friend Marc was also a part of the fun. He wished Nancy a very happy birthday and said with a grin on his face, “You know Nancy, last night my Santa gifted me new shoes” and he pointed towards his shoes. Nancy looked at her granny who stood behind her and both of them smiled.