Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Claus

I have noticed through the years a great deal of animosity from Christians toward Santa Claus. While I think I understand their root concern I think that he has gotten a rather bad rap. One of the things that bothers me the most is something that was said at our church a couple of weeks ago. Someone I highly admire and respect mentioned that Santa Claus was based on fiction. I think I know what he meant but in all fairness the man that Santa Claus is based on was a real person. Wikipedia says:

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.
Also attached to the evils of Santa is generally the idea that "you know if you rearrange Santa you get Satan!" Umm Santa actually means "Saint". I think this is one of those things where the fundamentalists or something have really gone overboard. It's okay to not want to participate in something but you needn't make it out to be some evil thing. Just don't participate.

Now this does not mean I endorse lying to children and telling them that Santa really exists as we see him in movies. That's wrong just because it's wrong to lie to kids. I don't think though there's any harm in having Santa movies or stories just like we have fairy tales about Cinderella or The Three Little Pigs even. No those things didn't really happen but do we say that Cinderella is evil or that the Three Little Pigs are satanic?? Of course Satan can use the whole idea of Santa Claus to distract from the true meaning of Christmas but if Santa Claus had a day all his own separate from Christmas would we really have that much to complain about? I really doubt it.

Personally I have never really considered Santa Claus to be "cute" so I do not own any Santa Claus decorations but I think if you want them have at it. In fact if you want to put a Santa Claus kneeling at the manger scene I'm not even sure why that should be a problem hehe. Okay I'm sure I'm gonna get comments on that one. ;-)