(I’ve made some changes – recent events have convinced me that the less you have on you on the internet, the better.)
I’ve already mentioned that there are two Christmases that are commonly celebrated in the states – the one with Santa Claus as a central figure and the one that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Celebrating Christmas without Santa Clause shouldn’t be a problem – but it does pose certain issues for families with young children and other relatives with young children who don’t quite see eye-to-eye on the matter. Let me see if I can say this delicately – parents are generally honest to their young children. Stoves can be hot and it’s not a great idea to play in the snow without a proper jacket or gloves. Yet when it comes to the holidays we have many traditions that fall away as we age – the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, etc. Why do we fill our young children’s minds with ideas and concept that will not last? If we give them something to believe in that they can’t believe in when they get older – what sort of impact will this have? Is it not strange that we have so developed Santa Clause as a man with a past, present, and future yet when it comes to the tooth fairy, we haven’t even given her a first name?
By the way, the idea of Santa Claus was based off of Saint Nicholas of Myra (born sometime in the year 270 – died the 6th of december 343), which was also called the Lycia region of Modern-day Turkey. His parents were Christians and he joined the faith early on in life. He had a reputation for putting coins in the shoes of people who left them out and once gave a poor man enough money to cover the cost of his three daughters’ dowries so that they wouldn’t have to participate in the oldest profession in the world for women. Much of our American tradition is based off of various older Dutch and German traditions around the character of Sinterklass which were modernized at the turn of the century into the Santa Claus that we see everywhere today. I don’t think good old Saint Nicholas would be pleased with the idea that it was more popular to believe that a version of him would give greater gifts than the man he died believing in – but that doesn’t exactly sell soda pop these does, now does it?
Maybe there is room for the two – but I’d rather have the truth than any easily-marketable idea: Were it not for Jesus Christ, there would be no Santa Claus.