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Christ or Santa Claus; Man, am I confused!

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(This is a reposting of a SIH blog entry from a few years ago…)

Most 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.

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:

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…


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


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?


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)


  1. I like how you stated that ‘Santa Claus’ was ‘created by humans’….and not by divine creation. I must admit that I grew up ‘believing in Santa’ until a certain age but I never confused him with the real meaning of Christmas being the birth of Christ…and when we raised our children it was with the same understanding…..It is one of the ‘fantasies’ of childhood.kind of like the ‘tooth fairy’. I was also raised that you couldn’t ask him for unlimited toys etc. because we had to be aware that other children needed to get something also…and so not to be greedy…When I was little for several years all I would ask for is a new ‘dolly’ and maybe some clothes for it. I don’t know how ‘Santa’ even managed that but ‘he’ did. My siblings in very early years mostly got just a stocking full of goodies.and on one occasion that was told to me…my father’s brother would make something or refurbish something like a sled and they would get that ….. Ahhh…. some memories.

    ..I know that some Christians believe it is wrong to include Santa and one ‘should’ do as they feel strongly led to. …Diane

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Diane,

      I, like you, have alot of good memories around Christmas time at home with my family. Although Santa was not stressed at all, he was mentioned and for a few years I believed in him. But like most kids, it didnt take long to figure out who wa really getting me all those toys! Thank you for sharing your Christmas memories. Lord bless you.

  2. Amanda Beth says:

    Amen!! Well said! I like how you listed the comparison and the verses, especially Zechariah 2:6. I never realized “Ho, Ho” was in the Bible. But sure enough, the KJV quotes it. Satan always has a counterfeit for everything. Thanks for sharing. Lets honor Christ, not Santa. Blessings to you!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Amanda,

      It was a very interesting study to do. It is amazing how, just as you say, there is a Satanic counterfeit for any truth about Christ. Lord bless.

  3. NikeChillemi says:

    Our family is large, extended and of mixed religions and ethnicities. All the children believed in Santa up to a certain age. And we all enjoyed it. The family didn’t believe in Santa as anything but a happy myth. The Christians in the family never confused Santa with Jesus, or the role of Santa in the Christmas celebration. Have a blessed Christmas.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Nike…

      First of all thanks for your comments. I think as long as it is clearly understood that Santa is just a myth and Christ is clearly taught and explained to be true, there is no big problem with having Santa as a part of the celebration. But the problem is, in many families, the children actually believe that Santa exists and Christ is placed second, or non-existant in the Christmas activities. It is this type of thing we all should be on guard against.

      Thanks for sharing your family experiences and your take on things. Lord bless you.

  4. Give me Jesus. You can have all this world. Just give me Jesus.

  5. terry1954 says:

    Christ over Santa any day any time!

  6. Sherry says:

    The True Meaning of Christ Mass
    FTA: A true Christian would want to examine everything they say, because Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” We will now set aside all of the customs, glitter and traditions of Christmas, which were taken from pagan witchcraft and popularized by the Roman Catholic Church, and we will focus on the true meaning of the words, “Merry Christmas!”

    The word “Merry” is simple to define. It unquestionably means to be happy, joyful and light-hearted. The word “merry” fits into the ambience of laughter and frivolity. This word “merry” by itself is innocent and innocuous enough, but as we will now see, it

    I’m praying that no Christian would celebrate this pagan holiday as the day of Christ’s birth. God has told us not to worship Him using such profane artifacts and traditions from idolatry. God grant the conviction to all. No more misuse of scripture to justify the ungodly celebration either! Paul did not have in mind an idolatrous holiday dressed in Christ when he spoke of days being observed-he would never agree to such an observance! I say this with love and praying for God’s grace to be upon all who celebrate this holiday. My heart grieves for my wonderful family in Christ whom Satan has so deceived. 😦

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Sherry,

      Thanks again for your views on the subject at hand. May the Lord bless you as you seek His will for your life.

      To my readers….

      I emphasize the need for each and every one of us to seek the Lord’s individual will for our life concerning the observance of the Christmas holiday. Keep in mind that the Bible gives many clear principles that we should apply to the Christmas holiday. Some of those include abstaining from the sins of drunkeness, gluttony, lying and covetousness. For the Christian, these aspects of the holiday season need to be put off, as we seek to show the Lord to others through our lives.

      However, since the Bible does not specifically speak on the need to abstain from the Christmas celebration each one of us should seek to apply the general principles from the Word to help us to perceive God’s will for us. Since there is no clear “thus sayeth the Lord’ we need to show a non-judgmental attitude towards our brothers and sisters in Christ concerning their own interpretation of the will of God concerning the observance of Christmas.

      For those reading this posting, my views on the subject of Christmas and the role of the Christian can be found at
      …they differ somewhat from Sherry’s views.

      Finally, although the link to Last Trumpet Minstries website appears in Sherry’s comments, I do not endorse nor, necessarily, agree with it’s contents.

  7. Great post! Our family has always minimized Santa Claus. I prefer even cards and gift wrap that don’t have Santa on them. I just had the thought, as I type this, that pointing out the similarities of Christ and claus would be a great way to educate someone in a non-threatening way about the gospel… potentially another way to turn what the enemy meant for distraction into a lesson that points to the Truth! 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I think you may be onto something. As long as it is done with great care, I think that this may be another avenue to helping those who are untaught to see the truths of Christ and His work for us. Lord bless you Wendy, thanks for the comments.

  8. Debbie says:

    Thank you, Pastor Rob, for helping us with this. I have a dear friend, who was kind of “attacked” at a small group gathering one year, when she shared that her son believed in Santa Claus yet. (he had / has special needs on top of his being rather young at the time) I can’t tell you how much it devastated her. Completely took her by surprise and she did not return to the small groups meetings, nor really keep any of the friendships that she had with those in that group. I think it is something that the Holy Spirit will address in us, and show us how to handle.
    God bless you . .you are such a blessing!

    • Rob Barkman says:


      Yep. It saddens my heart to see a some of the Lord’s saints hindered by the judgmental attitudes that exist today. I’ve seen the same type of attitudes in churches as well. It is so sad. It people would just stop and put themselves in the other person’s place, I truly believe these things would not happen. Or, if nothing else, take a step back and recognize what is really important. For example it was much more important for that dear saint to be a part of a group receiving instruction and fellowship than it was to see force the Christmas issue.

      Sad to say when I was alot younger I used to have the same type of judgmental attitude (I really regret those days) but after pastoring just a few years and watching others with it, the Lord touched my heart about putting the important things first and taking a stand for them, but the other stuff let Him take care of. It is just as you say… over time the Lord will owrk in the hearts of His people and bring them to an understanding of the truth and His will for their lives.

      Lord bless you my friend.

  9. You need not say more. Tonight for advent we will read the comparisons as a family. Thank you and well done good and faithful servant.

  10. Thank you for writing this, it was so good to read. For so many Christmas has become something we know it was never intended to be.

  11. wr1ghtlexi says:

    I believed in Santa Claus for a long time but never confused him with Jesus or His birth, or with the meaning of Christmas. I always felt Christmas is a time to GIVE and a time to be with family. It is also a time to be nice to everyone but I don’t think people should only be giving, kind to others, or spending time with family on Christmas or any other holiday or special occasion. I believe we should do all these things year round and show others that Christ lives in us. I never knew the origin of Santa Claus, thanks for sharing!

  12. Wonderful posts between you Citizen Tom about perceptions of Christmas.

    My youngest grandsons, six and two of age, went to visit Santa at the Mall yesterday. The two year old was frightened, the six year old was indifferent.

    When the two year old looked at the baby Jesus in a Christmas crib scene at my house, he was curious, not frightened, and the six year old reaches out to touch the little statues.

    Makes me wonder if young children have a better sense of perception of goodness before we brainwash and propagandize their minds.

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    Regards and good will blogging.

  13. […] Christ Or Santa Claus? Man Am I Confused! […]

  14. […] Christ Or Santa Claus? Man Am I Confused! […]

  15. walkingalongancientpaths says:

    Reblogged this on Ancient Paths and commented:
    Interesting comparison between Santa and the Lord. This would be a great family devotion. It’s not easy to completely exclude santa from everything we see and hear during the holidays, but we can teach our children and our children’s children the truth of God’s word.

  16. Very well thought out points. It never occurred to me, as we began having children to not “do the Santa thing”. But once my 9-year-old found out, he was so horrified, he is making sure his brothers don’t through the disappointment. They already knew the true meaning of Christmas, but Santa got seriously marginalized this year.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Yep, I can certainly understand your predicament. The Lord graciously took care of it for you! I trust your family will enjoy the most blessed Christmas holiday ever!

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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