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  • H.D. Campbell

Santa Claus & It's Symbolism To A Christ-Filled Christmas

Year after year, I get frustrated when people knock what's supposed to be a happy holiday by tearing down it's basic components of commercialism, expense, timing and especially Santa Claus.

Yes I understand that we as parents buy toys for our children but why wreck a young child's fantasy. When they find out Santa didn't bring their toys is whenever they find out whether it's through you or their friends. Also I do understand Jesus is the reason for the season but with all traditions things get added on but with a lot of truth, there's a lot of lies. Many of which depicts Santa Claus as some kind of devil to take away from Christmas. Meanwhile, many will still watch the story of Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. I'm here to lay out a few facts and let you be the judge.

I'm about to tell you about how the story of Santa Claus fits into the Christmas holiday and how it follows Christian traditions. For those smarties out there, I know Santa Claus isn't in the Bible but neither are packed malls, expensive gifts and the latest toy you're fighting to get for your child. You get rid of one, you might as well get rid of it all.

Anyway, Santa Claus was a real human being. He was a monk who loved around 280 AD in Patara near Myra which is now modern day Turkey. He lived in a poor village and not all of the children could get toys for Christmas. Being a monk meaning he knew the "reason for the season" (Given the Saint Nicholas name) and gathered donations from wherever he could to buy toys and for the toys he couldn't buy he made for the village.

His giving became so famous, his story spread for years and other countries started having their own "Santas" in their villages. The tradition stayed way past his death and even after the Protestant Reformation when saints were discourage, his legend still stood strong. With all stories of great men and women, their legends stretch all over the world. Throughout the world the he was given several names like Christkind or Kris Kringle (loosely translated from Christkind) was either the one delivering presents or in some cases accompanying Santa Claus in delivering presents. Only the children God deemed as good children were eligible for presents.

Some variations lead to a lady in Russia named Babouschka who allegedly gave the three Wise Men the wrong directions on the way to find Jesus. Regretful she started leaving gifts at kids' bedsides with hope that one of the children would be the Baby Jesus so she would be forgiven. In France, Pere Noel would leave gifts inside the shoes of children while in Italy, a kindly woman named La Befana would ride a broomstick dropping presents off down the chimneys of lucky children.

The legend didn't really take off until It finally arrived in the United States in 1773 when Dutch officials gathered around celebrating the Anniversary of the original monk's death. Over the years, the United States added to the legend both commercially and otherwise. Starting in 1820, Christmas was advertised in holiday shopping and by 1840, there were entire sections put aside for Christmas advertising. Santa's likeness was perfected in both political cartoons and in the 1822 poem "Twas The Night Before Christmas" written by Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister.

It was the United States who continued the legend through the reindeer, the workshop and the commercialism. The lesson here is, just because something is added to tradition doesn't mean that it takes away from the point. Kids with HEALTHY fantasies grow up to become successful adults. You don't even have to believe in the physical person to understand the message he conveys.

My uncle said one Christmas we all should believe in Santa Claus. Not the physical person but that message of giving he conveys. You already have the love of Jesus in your heart which is the reason for the season. It's just Santa Claus exemplifies the spirit of giving. Just a little food for thought.


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