“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Yep, that is the sound of old, jolly Saint Nick. Only presently he is commonly known as Santa Claus. He is a giver of bounteous gifts and delicacies. He lives in a castle, according to some tales. But is this his proper place in Christmas?
I found this painting titled “The Spirit of Christmas” and, honestly, I love it. The artist is Greg Olsen and he really captured the spirit of how Santa figures in Christmas for me. Here is the link to his full painting: The Spirit of Christmas.
Christmas is a beautiful time of recognizing the history behind the Christ child and of all those who followed later. The most famous being Saint Nicholas. The giving of gifts that reminds us of God’s gift to the world. The showing of compassion that follows the example of Christ. The beauty of the Christmas decorations and lights, reminding us that God created beauty and wants us to enjoy it.
The proper place of Santa Clause is at the feet of the Christ child. The myths that surround him need to be tailored to honor the true spirit of Christmas and to honor the Christian tradition for which Saint Nicholas stood. Santa Clause is a fantasy story, wonderfully imagined, but today he is commercialized with his values lost in the mountain of toys. Looking to the mood of Olsen’s painting should remind us of Santa’s true place in Christmas.
Question: What place does Santa Clause hold in your Christmas traditions?
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