St. Nick, Jesus, or Both?

mti2nzy0mzizmzu4otm4mzg2Merry Christmas Week!

Over the years, I’ve noticed that my Christian friends have a variety of practices and opinions on the concept of Santa Claus. After a recent discussion about this with my wife and her parents about the role Santa played in her childhood versus mine, I’ve decided to dig a little deeper into the matter.

Why is Santa considered a controversial topic? Is it because Santa isn’t in the Bible? Is it because it is too pagan? Does the idea/practice of having Santa involved in Christmas deceive kids?

Where does Santa come from? Most people agree he is based on St. Nicholas. According to Biography.com , he was born in Patara, a land that is part of present-day Turkey, circa 280. St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop who helped the needy. After his death, the legend of his gift-giving grew. St. Nicholas transformed into the legendary character called Santa Claus, who brings Christmas presents to children around the world. Check out the link for more information.

Isn’t helping the less fortunate one of the main parts of being a Christian? Jesus commanded us to love one another, and to love our neighbor. Isn’t that what Saint Nicholas did?

If you include Santa in Christmas, why not teach kids that being good doesn’t get you presents, but giving them is the bigger picture?

My wife came across the following the other day that is a way to incorporate Santa and not deceive your kids. Here is a great way to transition your kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming their own Santa.

When they are about 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready. Take them out “for coffee” at the local wherever. Get a booth, order your drink and make the following statement:

“You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown too.” Then list several empathetic behaviors, consideration of people’s feelings, good deeds etc.

“In fact, your heat has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus. You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren’t ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE.”

Ask them the best things about Santa. Then continue with:

“Well now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!”

Come up with a neighbor, or a friend to do a secret mission for. Find out deviously what that person needs and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it and never revel to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn’t about getting credit. It’s about unselfish giving.

That is what Christmas should be like regardless. Be like Jesus, whether that is  with or without Santa.

Until Next Time Readers,

God Bless!

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