non-Christians alike have heard of him. As children, we
imagined the sleigh, decorated with gold and jewels.
Small pointy-eared people stuffed dolls, train sets,
trucks, and other treats into a bottomless red bag. The
sleigh driveróa plump, kindly man sporting white hair
and a red outfit, sat at the ready to lead his reindeer
team across the night sky in search of deserving girls
and boys. I remember not being able to sleep on
Christmas Eve, my body filled with nervous energy as I
waited for Santa Claus to arrive.
The aforementioned images have been a tradition in
America for the last two centuries, even in Christian
homes. Today, we have to ask ourselves: does Santa Claus
have a place in Christian celebrations during the
Christmas season? The modern Santa Claus was loosely
based on an actual person who possessed qualities every
Christian should imitate.
The name of St. Nicholas has been used interchangeably
with that of Santa Claus but they are not the same.
Saint Nicholas was born in the third century A.D. He
came from a Christian home and believed in the teachings
of Jesus Christ. He used his vast resources to help
those in need, thus fulfilling Christís mission. Stories
grew from his extraordinary deeds, each more fanciful
than the one before. Once Europeans colonized America,
the stories evolved into tales to entertain children and
our version of the Santa Claus legend began.
As Christian individuals, we have a responsibility to
represent Christ in all aspects of our lives. What
greater opportunity exists to show the world Godís love
than during the celebration of Christís birth? God sent
His only Son into the world to give mankind a second
chance that we did not deserve. Our children deserve the
truth. Make-believe stories are fun, but when they
appear to be more popular than the truth, they can
mislead our children.
The Santa Claus legend must be replaced with the facts.
Saint Nicholas existed and he lived his life in service
to the Savior whose birth we celebrate during the
Christmas season. Thatís the truth. At Christmas,
nothing should overshadow the birth of Christ, Godís
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