My 10-year-old son was about three when I first decided I would kick Santa out of Christmas by telling him that St. Nick wasn’t real.
I don’t feel like that anymore but at the time I thought that you should not mix Santa and all the commercialism that’s attached to him with Jesus, the true reason for Christmas. I didn’t think Christmas in and of itself was wrong but I just didn’t think the “celebration” part of it was even in the Bible to begin with.
The thought of banishing Santa from my family caused me a lot of marital and personal stress. My ex-wife, for one, was soundly against it and pled for me not to do it. Don’t ruin Christmas for our children, she said.
My own wholesome history with Santa also tugged at my heart. After all, growing up, I loved and looked forward to Santa. Every year, until I stopped believing in him, my late dad would call me during a given December night to notify me that Santa’s helicopter had just landed on his home’s rooftop in preparation for Christmas. It never occurred to me that Santa had no business going to my dad’s Hialeah, Florida home, the most Cuban city in the entire U.S. but that was the bliss of my innocence.
Despite my ex-wife’s pleas and even my own nostalgia with Santa, I wasn’t deterred until the last moment, when my ex came up with a desperate, brilliant story for harmonizing the story of St. Nick with Jesus.
What was the story that saved Santa? Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas but Santa is His special servant helper who distributes gifts and blessings to children and families worldwide. In other words, Santa is Jesus’ FedEx delivery guy and representative for children on earth wrapped in one.
I’m not sure if others of you have defined Santa that way but I haven’t heard anyone else say that. For parents who like me has always wondered how to mix Jesus and Santa in way that isn’t as warped as what you see out there this story has worked wonders in helping us engage our kids with the all out compassion, whimsy and celebration that should be Christmas.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men”
– LUKE 2:13-14
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!
P.S. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to download the 2010 PapiBlogger Holiday Gift Guide free here that I put together with Mama Contemporanea. I think once you’ll see it you’ll find it well done and very helpful.