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Christ or Santa Claus; Man, am I confused!

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SIH STSTA ICONMost of us know the basic history of Santa Claus…

Nicholas, a 17-year-old Catholic priest, became known for his generosity toward those that were in need (especially children).  Following his death the Catholic church granted him the status of sainthood.  As the Catholic church began to celebrate Christmas, they included St Nicholas in their celebration.

As time progressed, due to the influence of the reformation, the person of St Nicholas began to be changed into a variety of characters.  Different nations began to form their own description and name for this generous person.  St Nicholas’s new names ranged from Father Christmas, Christmas Man, Pere Noel and many others.  The name most commonly used in our country, Santa Claus, came from the Dutch version of St Nicholas, who was given the name, Sinterklaas.

In the early 1800s, most of the specific features of Santa Claus were first developed by two different publications; Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and Thomas Nast’s yearly drawings of Santa Claus in “Harper’s Weekly” magazine.

Finally in the early to mid 1900’s Coca Cola commercials were the first time Santa Claus was pictured with the all of his modern-day features.

http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/santa_claus.htm

During the years of this evolutionary process, Santa Claus became an inseparable part of the American holiday season.  The vast majority of homes in the US continue to include Santa Claus in their Christmas celebration.  According to an AP AOL News poll 85% of those polled believed in Santa Claus as a child.  Also, over 60% of homes with children believe that Santa Claus is “important” to their holiday celebration.   For an eye-opening look at the role of Santa in the American celebration of Christmas please go to the poll:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/23/AR2006122300225.html

Christmas, which mankind has set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ, in today’s time seems to center more on Santa Claus than on the Lord Jesus Christ.  So what gives?  Could it be, that the world has chosen to replace Christ with Santa Claus?  Is Santa Claus the secular version of Christ? Let’s take a look and see what similarities Christ and Santa share…

THE SCRIPTURE:

To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. (Isa 40:25)

THE STUDY:

In our text, the Lord is making the point that He is clearly exalted above all creatures, great or small.  Although this is a true statement, many times man tries to find replacements for Christ.  One of those man-made replacements is Santa Claus.

Here is a quick comparison of Christ with Santa Claus:

  1.  Comes in the Sky – Mark 14:62
  2. Has White Hair – Rev 1:14
  3. Wears Red Clothing –  Isa 63:1-2
  4. The Time of His Coming Is Unknown – Matt 24:43-44
  5. Knows All The Actions Of Humans – Hebs 4:13
  6. Can Be Present Everywhere – Jer 23:23-24
  7. Will Not Die – Rev 1:8
  8. Rewards Good / Evil  –  Rev 22:12, Rom 14:12 … Santa leaves gifts or coal
  9. Loves Little Children – Mark 10:14
  10. Described as Christ child – Luke 2:11-12…. Kris Kringle means “Christ Child”
  11. Says Ho Ho – Zech 2:6
  12. Answers requests made to Him – Matthew 7:7
  13. Belief in Him is necessary for gifts to be received – Hebs 11:6
  14. We Look forward to His coming – Titus 2:13

Need I say more?

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

As we celebrate this Christmas season, at the least, we need to be sure that our children understand the true meaning of Christmas.  We can all do this by emphasizing the role of Christ and minimizing the role of Santa Claus.

For some of us, we may decide to totally exclude Santa from our holiday celebration and center all of our attention on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  After all, isn’t that what He really deserves?

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isa 42:8)

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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8 Comments

  1. groveonline says:

    Jesus also drank milk and probably ate cookies!
    Great post and very informative.
    My wife and I have been discussing how to raise our Children concerning Santa Claus and we have decided to not mention or build upon the myth but not to ruin it for other children. Instead we want them to focus on THE gift of Jesus Christ and everything that came with Him. Also we may only give them 1 gift each so that we can emphasize Christ and de-emphasize materialism and stuff. I should also note we plan on having 8 children…

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thanks for reminding me about the cookies and milk! As soon as I find the verses to back it up I’ll add it to the list! LOL

      Sounds to me like you have a good plan on how to handle things when you have children…

      When I was really young, a friend in school KINDLY pulled me aside and told me there was no Santa Claus. He didn’t tell everyone, only me, because he knew I wanted the truth. I knew his parents and they were dedicated Christians.

      Looking back, I really appreciate their handling of the whole Santa issue. The parents had explained the best way for their son to handle it when their son was at school. It ended up being a great testimony for the Lord.

      Sounds like you guys are sure headed in the same direction. I really appreciate that.

      About the eight children…. all I can say is…

      MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU , BROTHER…. I’m afraid you’ll really need it!

  2. Patti (PJ) says:

    This was an awesome post! I did know a little bit about the story of St. Nicholas, but I had never put it into perspective of the similarities between Christ and Santa Claus. I plan on putting a link to this post from my blog ok? That is if I can get my “pea-sized brain around how to do it!” LOL! I have been having more trouble with trying to accomplish anything “extra” other than typing my posts lately, and I don’t know why. Anyway, I hope I’ll be able to do it. If it won’t work for me, I am still going to link to you “blog” whether I get the correct post or not because you do such a wonderful job and this blog provides such a service. God Bless you and yours.
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      Thanks for the link on your blog… you are welcome to anytime you would like. I know you agree that it is all about trying to het the Word of God out to as many people as we can. That’s why I included your blog on my blog roll… Your blog is a blessing for me to read and I want ot share it with others… Thanks again for the link and the work you do on your blog

  3. Great blog Rob.

    I remember one child in Sunday School. He had just learned that Santa was not real and during the lesson, he made the comment (with some bitterness) “So when do we find out that Jesus and God are just a myth too?”

    We never had “Santa” in our home and our 5 sons all knew the truth about him and more importantly about the reason for Christmas. How can parents tell their children LIES about Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny etc and still expect them to respect and trust them and to trust God?

  4. We raised our 3 children knowing the real meaning of Christmas but we did include Santa in our celebrations. We had a creche that my husband built himself..he was no carpenter and we just used the wood we had and the paint that we had on hand but every year we used that same one even though at later stages we could have afforded to buy another one. My husband and I still use it today. Our concentration was on the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas but the innocence and excitement of “Santa’ was in our lives as children even though we knew not to expect reams of toys ..just one gift …mine was a doll every year from ‘Santa’….the innocence of childhood !!!

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