A Presbyterian sings the praises of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Is she the new Santa Claus?

Check this out, from Presbyterian minister Ben Daniel in Huffington Post:

The feast of Guadalupe is a distinctly Mexican holiday, and it may be worth asking why my family celebrates the holiday when none of us were born in Mexico or have Mexican ancestors.

The answer is this: we celebrate the feast of Guadalupe because it is a beautiful thing to do and because it is an American thing to do.

Most of the elements common to the celebration of Christmas in America were brought here by immigrants. St. Nicholas comes from Turkey by way of Holland where he changed his name to Santa Claus and exchanged his fez for a ‘Where’s Waldo’ hat. The Christmas tree comes from Germany, the Créche was invented by St. Francis in Italy but it has a French name. Mistletoe and holly come from Britain. I don’t know where stockings come from, but I doubt it was Des Moines.

Why shouldn’t the feast of Guadalupe be included on the list of immigrant celebrations that add to the wonder and joy of Christmas in the United States?

Some uniquely American holiday traditions also make days merry and bright in our home. At some point in the next few weeks we’ll probably watch It’s A Wonderful Life together — it’s a great film, and the late Donna Reed was my aunt, so that film is a joyful family obligation for us. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer also may entertain us. It isn’t nearly as good as It’s a Wonderful Life, but who doesn’t like Yukon Cornelius?

Christmas in America is a multi-cultural event. It’s beautiful, and if you’re in the neighborhood next year, please join my family for some tamales and champurrado as we wish the Virgin of Guadalupe a joyous birthday with many happy returns.

There’s much more at the link.


  1. Jim Halvorsen says:

    Thanks Ben. But be careful about that ‘Des Moines’ reference. Merry Christmas. We’ve had positive comments from those we gifted with your book. Good stuff.

  2. Ronn Garton says:

    I’ve always thought the Three Wisemen should be Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. With Ben’s inclusive slant, I am more hopeful now that canonization is somewhere in process.

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