16x20 Original Oil on Canvas
by Cheri Wollenberg 2018
I am a very blessed artist! I enjoy sharing how and why I create paintings with my friends and viewers. Today's post is very special to me. It is exceptional and straight from the heart of the daughter of this Santa (above) about her daddy. How precious our time on earth is! How important it is to love others and spread the joy of Christ!
The Night Before Christmas!
This Santa was a small-town funeral director. His ministry was in helping
others walk through a life-changing experience in the death of a loved one.
With this ministry came yet another ministry! This ministry was sharing his love by providing
years of memories for others in his community. Every Christmas Eve he left his family for a few hours and would don the red suit, bells and boots, and start his rounds. Checking his list that had started building since the first of November by people in the community calling in for their reserved time for his visit, he would begin his journey.
Instructions were left for him, "Pink bike in the black truck" or "10 Caboodles in the red car in the back seat" or "4-Wheeler goes at the side of the house...Ride to front fence".
One Christmas a family whom he had served as funeral director just a month earlier were home.
Their daddy has died leaving a wonderful wife and two little boys. Santa knocked on the door and the door was opened by the mom with the boys at her side. A belly laugh, "Ho Ho Ho" greeted them!
The mom invited him in as the little boys were jumping up and down saying, "We knew you would come!!! Mom, we TOLD you he would come." A short visit gave a long and remembered memory.
God gives us His joy in our hearts. We can cap it and keep it to ourselves OR pass it on. This Santa chose to pass God's gift of joy to others. He did this every Christmas Eve for 25 years. His family
joyfully supported sharing him with others on this night.
On his last Christmas Eve of doing what he loved...This Santa saw 110 children in their homes.
He accepted no pay for his night of sharing God's joy. He believed..."Joy in the heart wasn't put there to stay...Joy isn't Joy 'til it's given away."
This Santa was my dad. He died from a massive heart attack on...Christmas Eve..1971.