I look back on some of my older posts, and I laugh to myself about myself about how I was going to defend or refute the infamous Santa Clause. I laugh because while I am always seeking truth, I didn’t want to lie to my children in the name of a holiday tradition. nor did I want to take the fun out of the season by saying he’s not real.
A few years ago, I came to the beautiful conclusion on how to handle it, and this year we are just taking it further.
The Catholic Bishop
Not many people are aware of this but Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343) was a Catholic bishop around the year 300AD. He is also known as the patron Saint for children. He also loved to hand our gifts to children. The story goes:
There was a man who had three daughters who wanted to get married, but he had no money. He was going to sell them into slavery (I know right!) but Nicholas saw this, and him being very wealthy, he waited for them to fall asleep and left money for them by the chimney.
Of course this is such a simplified story, but you can read more about him here (in better details).
The Feast Day
December 6th is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. That means it’s a special day to hide little treats or candy in stockings for little kids. By the way, the tradition of the stockings by the chimney also comes from Saint Nicholas!
This year, we are separating his feast day, from Christmas, and celebrating as such. That means, on December 6th, the kids will find a surprise in their stockings. Not only is this a great way to remember a wonderful Saint, but it’s also a way to share the truth about “Santa Clause”
Another fact: Did you know that Santa means Saint?
Why share the Truth about Ol’ Saint Nick?
Well, there are tons of reasons but I’m going to state the two most important one:
1. He did exist. Just not in the way that he is portrayed now. He did share gifts with children, and I’m sure the children loved him. We share the truth, because we don’t want to lie, and a silly lie about Saint Nicholas will come back to bite us in the end.
2. It brings the reason for the season the front of our minds. Christmas is not about Santa Clause, and how many presents we get. Christmas is about Christ. The promise that he’s going to come again, and the hope and joy that will fill our hearts when He does.
Yes we celebrate it, because it’s a day worth celebrating, but presents is not the most important part of the season.
3. Stopping the materialism. (yes, I did say two, but this is a bonus) Notice how hard it is to tell kids that they can’t have something? How hard is it for us to stop ourselves from getting things that we don’t need. We need to step back from materialism and realize that things will not make us happy. And, to be quite honest (in the sake of clarity), if you’re yearning for something, you could be yearning for a relationship with someone. Let’s use this Advent season to develop a deeper relationship with Christ.
How would you like to celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th?
Post was originally published on December 5, 2014.