Because the Real Santa Story is Amazing Enough

I’ve told my children that there is no Santa Claus. I make no apologies about that either. My reason? It takes away from the story of the actual miracle man who is Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker.

As I’ve stated before, I’m a newcomer to Catholicism. However, I was baptized when I was ten years old and have been a Christian for (do the math) thirty-six years. So I’m not exactly a newcomer to Christianity.

And I truly believe in the Spirit of Christmas. But I never really knew the true story of Saint Nicholas until I went looking for it. I had no idea that he is commemorated on December 6, the day of his death in 347 A.D.

This guy is amazing! And yet there isn’t much really known about him. We do know that he was the Bishop of Myra in the fourth century. Myra is no longer around, having been superseded by a new city called Demre in the Anatalya Province in Turkey. Here he is in a painting entitled St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents From Death. The painting is hanging in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. (Note, it is St. Petersburg again, and no longer Leningrad.)

So I have sat all three of my children down (ages 13, 10, and 8) and spilled the beans on Madison Avenue’s version of Santa Claus and the unlimited wish-fulfillment powers of same. (Hey, personally, I love that guy too.) Now, my 13-year-old has known the truth since he was 8. My daughter started getting concerned when she was about 8 and couldn’t see ash footprints or any other convincing evidence of his visit, and my youngest is 8 now so . . . I did what had to be done. I told them the truth.

This has caused a bit of a dust-up within our extended family, and I understand why. You can’t convince kids aged 13, 10, and 8 to continue telling a fiction about Santa Claus to their friends. Well, maybe the 13-year-old, but the 8-year-old will sink the party pronto. This is like a state secret that “need to know” will not keep safe. And that is the concern of certain relatives, which my wife and I fully understand.

But that doesn’t do St. Nicholas justice, nor Our Lord and Savior whom he serves. So if your child comes home from school one day with the idea that Santa isn’t real? Blame my kids. Or tell yours the truth and donate an unwrapped new toy to Toys for Tots.

Semper Fidelis

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12442813565745123497 MUJERLATINA

    Frank: I'm definately at a crossroads with the 'Santa thing.' My younger child has a fixed illusion (delusion) about Santa, while my older daughter is wavering. I hate to lie to them… I pray that the daily Advent family devotions and all the sacramental preparations for Christmas will diminish the story of Santa. Pray for my wisdom as I maneuver through the minefield of secularism…Pax Christi.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Hi ya Doc. Consider the age of your children, I guess. I felt the same as you and my wife and I thought that it would be best if the truth came from us parents and not from some 8-9 year old "know-it-all". Pray about it. It is a "damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead" kind of order.Like the Nike commercials.."Just Do It" when it feels right.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    And regarding your request,Can Do!


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