Today’s post is a re-post from a very popular Santa is not Satan post from last year. I hope you enjoy!
If Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ’s birth then where did “Santa” come from? Are Christians to ban Santa trinkets, sweaters and wrapping paper to show our loyalty? I think a little education is helpful on why or how the whole Santa thing came about.
Who is St. Nicholas?
His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering.
He did many kind and generous deeds in secret, expecting nothing in return. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).
And that (in a nutshell) is how we have the legend of Santa Claus. I don’t know about you but that Santa doesn’t sound like such a bad guy. He has certainly become over materialized but isn’t everything in our culture?
St. Nicholas would have NEVER wanted the legend of him to be greater than the Jesus he served.
That is where our job as parents is to teach our children about Christmas, the importance of Jesus’ birthday, and about the real “Santa Claus.” The only list he was making and checking twice was those whom he could serve. In fact how amazing would it be if everyone knew who the REAL St. Nicholas was and how he was such a model of Christ.
Personally, we tell our kids about the real Santa. We say people dress up like him today because the amazing person that was St. Nicholas. Sure Santa is fun but we don’t pretend that he is coming through the chimney.
At the end of the day “Santa” is not Satan. Getting caught up in banning Santa clothing, wrapping paper and decor is just plain silly in my humble opinion. The real Santa can teach us a lot about our Lord through the servant life he lived.
Let’s show the world what Christians are FOR instead of what we are against.
St. Nicholas was an amazing example of what we are FOR…Christ’s love.
I just ran across this blog that has a very clever family tradition of playing “St. Nick” and anonymously giving gifts around their town. I love it!
Join the conversation. What are your thoughts on Santa?