Thursday, December 3, 2009


A church member friend asked me my take on "Santa Claus" today. Here's what I told him-

"Personally, for us, we have told the boys from day 1 that Santa is a legend that is roughly related to the St. Nicholas of the 5th Century. We have never minced though, he's a fake. I just don't see the upside of letting them believe something that isn't true and not setting them straight. I mean, they watch a make believe movie, we tell them it's make believe. No biggie. They talk about Santa and we either re-enforce the ruse or we don't say anything to correct? I don't know, for me it isn't worth it. He's a big fat fake. My boys have actually taken heat from other church/school kids for saying the fat guy's a fake. I don't get it. Bah HUMBUG!!!"

Besides, did you notice who has the same letters in his name as Santa? Think about it. Ha ha!!


Adam said...

I have to say, I rarely hear people talk about this issue and I'm glad to hear you take the stand you do on it. I agree 110%...but this is coming from a single guy without kids.

Similar to what I heard D.A. Carson speak about recently, is how this issue accentuates the focus our society has on the narrative (the single story or issue at hand) and we neglect the meta-narrative (how the singular story plays into the overarching story behind everything). Post moderns want to focus on the single story at hand because it allows them to avoid dealing with what it truly means as far as the entire picture goes. This is so evident with Santa, the idea goes generally "Let's focus on the story of Santa Claus during this time of year" but no one mentions WHY this arbitrary story of Santa is there. If we drop Jesus back into Christmas though this implies that there is a bigger story than just 'a birth', but we see it as part of God's overall rough would it be on people to have meaning as to WHY Christmas is celebrated when we can just make up traditions that have no real roots of meaning!

jeff said...

We haven't played up Santa in my house. We've told our boys the story of St Nicholas, and told them that people like to pretend that Santa comes to bring presents. My older 2 boys (7 & 5) play along, pretend that Santa is coming, but then tell us that they know that my wife and I put the presents out. My 3 year old son is pretty clueless about the whole Santa thing. The focus is on the Birth of Christ. My boys know the difference between what is real (Christ) and what is a fun, made-up story.

I was raised in a Christian home, and believed in Santa. I turned out ok, by the grace of God. I don't have a problem if people want to play Santa with their kids, as long as the kids are taught to focus on the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

Zach said...

Totally agree, Tony. We've also told the kids from the beginning that Santa is not real. My folks did the same with me, and I agree with their reasoning: if the kids find out at 9 years old that I lied to them about Santa, might they not also wonder whether I've lied to them about Jesus?

This has never gone over well with my in-laws and many friends, who think we're bigtime kill-joys. In fact some friends have been furious when our kids have "spilled the beans" to their kids -- in contravention of our express admonition, of course. Oh well; people are crazy.

Rick Calohan said...

Well, isn't that special... We took John who was not even a year old to Nordstrom to see the jolly ole elf, and this year just shy of 2 years old, he is more fascinated with the lights and ornaments on the tree. The right approach when the time comes is obvious to tell the truth and that is Luke 2: 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Thus, why we celebrate Christmas, albeit we are still uncertain on what day or year Jesus Christ was born on our calendar.

Isaiah 9:6

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Reepicheep said...

Rick, you took your son to see Satan..I mean Santa?

Man, now who needs to recant?

I'll pray for you (poetically speaking, of course) :)

Anonymous said...

Why am I saying this? I don't know. Off the top of my head...a couple of years ago I read that the real Catholic? Saint Nicholas was Czecheslovakian?, or some nationality like that. After he died, some Italians travelled to his grave, from Italy, dug up his body and reburied the body in their Italian city. They did this because of the belief that having the body of a saint in the city would bless the city. Saint Nicholas' home city has never tried to recover the body.

Rick Calohan said...


Apparently you did not see or remember the Christmas Card we sent you last year?

Not to be like Adam and put the blame on Eve, but the Halloween Trick or Treat and Santa thing was more of my wife's thing not mine.

Gee now I feel naked and ashamed. Poetically speaking of course ; )

Woody Woodward said...

I think you make a good “jolly ole’s St Nick!” Glad you explained the anagram. You were straining my very small brain.

shanaclan said...

You smell like beef and cheese, you don't smell like Santa.

Anonymous said...

Humblest apologies...St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra, i.e., modern-day Lycia, in what is now Turkey, on its' southern coast, far from any of the seven churches of the, "Book of Revelation." Not sure when he came to faith, but, he was born in 270 AD, plenty of time to grow up, come to faith and work in ministry before the Papacy started in the 4th century. His bones were stolen by the Italians of Bari, Italy.

Source: Wikipedia.