Santa Claus, to Believe or not to Believe, that is the question. He’s not even a real person…or is he?
The story of St. Nicholas, is in fact, a true story. Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343) also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus.
There are many legends about St. Nicholas of Myra. One story tells how he helped three poor sisters. Their father did not have enough money to pay their dowries and thought of selling them into servitude. Three times, St. Nicholas secretly went to their house at night and put a bag of money inside. The man used the money so that one of his daughters could marry. On the third visit, the man saw St. Nicholas and thanked him for his kindness. He also reportedly saved three men who were falsely imprisoned and sentenced to death.
There is so much about this world that is ugly—and it’s so easy to forget that you once believed in magic and fat men bringing presents. I want to give that gift to my children. My boys are older now and certainly know the “truth” about him, but go along with the “nonsense” of Santa for their baby sister. That gift of imagination. The gift of being able to believe, even if only for a moment, that the impossible can happen.
I believed in Santa as a child and it was wonderful. And when I found out he “didn’t” exist, I wasn’t upset for the lies or betrayal. It made me appreciate the selflessness that went into Christmas in my house growing up. We were a lower income family when I was a child and my dad worked his butt off to make Christmas magical.
The life of Santa Claus does NOT take away from the life of Christ, but did you know that Jesus wasn’t even born on Christmas?? History convincingly shows that Dec. 25 was popularized as the date for Christmas, not because Christ was born on that day but because it was already popular in Pagan religious celebrations as the birthday of the Sun. Biblical accounts point to the Fall as the time of year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist.
In our family, Santa is as real as anything and I’d like to keep it that way.
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