ABOUT CHRISTMAS-SANTA-BABY JESUS
Santa Clause-Christmas-Baby Jesus
There is much in common when discussing Santa Claus-Christmas-Baby Jesus. For many Christians, Santa Claus is nothing but a secular (earthly or materialistic) distraction to the celebration of one of the greatest events in human history – the birth of Jesus Christ. But try as we might to disassociate Santa from Christmas, he is hard to ignore. His image is everywhere. So when the kids inevitably ask, “Who is Santa?” what do we say? As with any question from our children, we can use it as a teaching opportunity.
The name Santa Claus is the English form of the Dutch name for St. Nicholas Sinterklaas. Though the modern Santa Claus is associated with a world of fantasy, the historical St. Nicholas was a godly man known for his charity and generosity.
St. Nicholas Day
There is a wealth of stories about Nicholas’ life — many of them emphasize his kindness and generosity. After his death on December 6, a tradition of gift giving was begun in his honor.
St. Nicholas Day is still observed on December 6 in many countries, but in others, America included, the practices associated with the day were combined with Christmas. It seemed natural to many Christians that a holiday celebrating giving would merge with the birth of Christ, the greatest gift ever given to the world. However, the merger happened to the dismay of many Christian leaders who thought that St. Nicholas started to draw too much attention away from Christ. In Germany, parents were encouraged to teach their children that the Christ Child was the gift-giver.
At Christmas, we celebrate that God himself came in bodily form, in real flesh and blood, to earth. However, after he ascended to heaven and his physical presence was no longer on earth, Jesus entrusted believers to be his “body” (1 Corinthians 12:27). By all accounts, St. Nicholas lived a life that helped others to see the reality of Christ. How can we follow his example and help others to see Christ in us (in real flesh and blood) this Christmas?
Source of Article:
Who is Santa, and What Does He Have to Do With Christmas
St. Nick and Santa Claus
St. Nicholas, also known as “St. Nick” was a devout Christian who helped the needy and sick. He lost both his parents early in life; It was reported that he used the inheritance received from his parents to assist the sick and those in need. that died and served as the bishop of Myra, a city that is now known as Demre. Through his generosity, St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop, is the basis for the character called Santa Claus, known to bring Christmas presents to children throughout the world.
St. Nicholas was born about 280 in Patara, Lycia, in the area that is part of present-day Turkey. As to his death, several sources state St. Nicholas is thought to have died on December 6, 343; it was upon on his death, the legend of his gift-giving grew
Source of Article: St. Nicholas Biography
The True Spirit of Christmas
I know there are some parents, like me, who have fond childhood memories of Santa fantasies and jingles. Though I wholeheartedly agree that the focus should be on Christ during the Christmas season, I wondered if it was necessary to toss out all the old books and ornaments that had any association with Santa. As I struggled with this decision, there were a variety of thoughts that came to mind.
The beauty of our American Santa Claus is that his roots come from a historical person, St. Nicholas, who was truly a servant of Christ (not a competitor). The fact that American children are surrounded by images of Santa Claus during the Christmas season means that there are many opportunities to discuss the real St. Nicholas, a man whose life should inspire us to more fully serve God.
One aspect of the historical St. Nicholas that I have chosen to emphasize with my children is his generosity. One of the most famous stories about St. Nicholas involves him secretly delivering gold to a father and his three daughters who, through misfortune, had become destitute. The practice of giving gifts in Santa’s name is really just a way of giving anonymously. Secret generosity is consistent with how St. Nicholas gave gifts, and more importantly it follows Jesus’ instruction to let our giving be done in secret. As Jesus said, “Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:4).
Source: What to Do with Santa Clause
Christmas Trivia and Facts
- The poinsettia, traditionally an American Christmas flower, originally grew in Mexico; where it was known as the “Flower of the Holy Night”. It was first brought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829. ¹
- The tradition of Christmas lights dates back to when Christians were persecuted for saying Mass. A simple candle in the window meant that Mass would be celebrated there that night. ¹
- In 1947, Toys for Tots started making the holidays a little happier for children by organizing its first Christmas toy drive for needy youngsters.¹
- The abbreviation of Xmas for Christmas is not irreligious. The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is identical to our X.
MORE CHRISTMAS TRIVIA AND FACTS
- In A.D. 350, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25th the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ ²
- The Christian church fixed 25 December in 440 AD as the day for the celebration of Christmas. ³
- The tradition of ringing church bells on Christmas morning dates back to the medieval times. The ringing bells symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ. ³
- The tradition of gift-giving during Christmas has originated from the legendary characters of the Three Wise Men, who brought presents to Jesus, when he was born. ³
- Holly represents the crown worn by Lord Jesus Christ, when he was crucified and the red color of the berries represents his blood. ³
- In this season, we celebrate how God gave His Son, Jesus, to bring hope to the world. May each of us prayerfully consider how we, like Nicholas, can give of ourselves to help restore hope to those that God brings into our lives.