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Jesus vs. Santa in the fight for the holiday season

 

 

People do lots of things to commemorate the holiday season.  Some people attend church. Some purchase gifts for one another and hang decorations on a beautiful tree. 

 

Others listen to festive music and visit family and friends or hang stockings above the fireplace, go caroling and bake cookies.

 

With so many things happening, I have to wonder, “Is there a correct way to celebrate Christmas?” Some might feel that the holiday should be solely about Jesus’ birth.  Should we, as Christians, incorporate Santa Claus into the holiday season?  

 

Here is the way I see it: Christmas is about Christ, the Son of God. He was born on this glorious day. He gave his life for us so that our sins could be forgiven.  The holiday is about giving and celebrating and, believe it or not, Santa Claus represents this kind of selfless giving.  

 

The idea of Santa Claus came from an eleventh century Bishop. As the story goes, he was the patron saint of children because he once rescued three children who had been captured by an evil butcher. 

 

He put gold coins in the children’s stockings as they hung by the fireplace to dry. His gift-giving was always secretive and unexpected. 

 

He was the patron saint of sailors because he was once thought to have calmed the sea during a storm. This was how his stories traveled the world–on sailing trips across the globe. 

 

He is known in almost every culture. In England, the Bishop is called Saint Nicholas. In Germany, he is known as Sankt Nikiaus and in Belgium he is called Sinterklaas. This is where we got the name for our American Santa Claus. 

 

Santa represents the joy of giving, caring and loving one another. Therefore, why not incorporate Santa Claus into the holiday season? 

 

Santa spreads the message of Jesus’ birth by reminding people across the world to love each other selflessly and to give like Christ gave–without expectation of return. That is a valuable gift everyone should learn each holiday season. 

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