“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5–10)
When my daughter was just 6 years old she came to me with the age old question “Is Santa Clause Real?” I sort of just looked at her for a moment not quite sure how to answer her question. I went back and forth in my head playing different scenarios to different responses. I didn’t want to lie to my child and I didn’t want to just say know and have her go around ruining Christmas for other Children who believed so I looked at her very curious face and and asked “What do you think?” She very matter of factly responded ” I think there was a man who used to give gifts to people because he was kind. Now people keep his memory by pretending to be him!” How could I argue with this? Her response was very grown up for a girl as young as she was and was not so far off from the truth, and at the moment I was extremely proud.
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).
Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.
The idea of a man so pure and kind, who knows everything about us is so amazing but when we call him Santa Claus we take away the glory that belongs to God. We should encourage our Children with the true Spirit of Christmas. We should not lie to our children but we should share with them the Story of Jesus birth. We should encourage our children to give, not only at Christmas but throughout the year. We should encourage our children to seek out truth. When we tell our Children that there is Santa and the grow to find out the truth they will undoubtedly question everything we are teaching them including what we are teaching them about God.
There are many beliefs in this world and as Christians we must make a conscious effort not to lie to our children and share the true meaning of Christmas.