It has become increasingly noticeable that many Christians are shedding the image of Santa Claus from their Christmas celebrations. I have heard all the reasons as to why - it takes away from the intent of the holiday, only God gives in abundance, materialism is evil to Christian living, it creates a false idol, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately, many times this opinion is given with some piousness leaving the listener feeling very uncomfortable with her choice to include Santa Claus in her Christmas traditions. I believe even more so, that many Christians are completely unaware of the original Saint behind Santa Claus and how his life so embodied the spirit of Christ. It is with this spirit that my family celebrates Christmas and gives to one another and gives glory to a life lived selfishly.
Here is the article. I think it is worth reading:
The Christmas season has taken on disappointing characteristics in
our highly secularized culture. These characteristics include removing
Christ-centered displays and using verbiage that eliminates references to
the namesake of the season’s special day. Some businesses have removed
the familiar and once prominently accepted greetings that include any
reference to Christmas and instead have attempted to pretend the specially
named day really is not. These businesses give it a bland moniker such as
“winter holiday.” My, what a threat this day must be to a secular culture.
It really is fascinating—try as secularists might to take Christ out of
Christmas—that the popular and seemingly secular symbol of Christmas,
Santa Claus, represents the work of God’s Son. Santa Claus remains pretty
much OK probably because the spoilers have not figured out how to
explain from their vantage point, or do not know, the gradual transition of
St. Nicholas to Santa Claus. The real Nicholas was born in Patara, a Greek
area that is now a part of the southern coast of Turkey. His parents were
wealthy and devout Christians, who died when he was quite young. Nicholas
dedicated his life to serving God, and he became the bishop of Myra as a
young man. He used his entire inheritance to help the sick, the needy, and
others who were suffering. Because he was held in great esteem for his life
and deeds, the anniversary of his death, December 6, AD 343, became
known and celebrated as St. Nicholas Day (www.stnicholascenter.org).
In the 1800s, because of the work of artists and writers, St. Nicholas took
on an elfi sh appearance and eventually a beard and a pipe. He gradually
acquired a rotund appearance and a red suit. By the late 1800s, the saint’s
name shifted to Santa Claus, “a natural phonetic alteration from the
German Sankt Niklaus and Dutch Sinterklaas” (www.stnicholascenter.org).
It must be noted though, when you dig down, he is still Nicholas, who
modeled true giving and faithfulness—a result of his love for Christ.