Christmas: The Origin of Santa Claus aka St. Nick
pictures of St Nick
The real St Nick and Santa Claus
Today is Saint Nicholas Day and in honor I want to share the origin of this man. Saint Nicholas of Myra who was also known as sinnterklaas lived in the 14th century and was a bishop in Myra. He was a very religious man and devoted his life to serving God. He is well known for giving gifts to the poor but the most popular story is that of presenting dowries to poverty stricken sisters so they would not have to become prostitutes. This man is considered the patron saint of Amsterdam and Moscow. With legends such as a real saint who gave gifts to the poor and ridiculous character has developed who gives to good children and represents the very essence of commercialized Christmas.
The Santa Claus we know( also known as St Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas and many other names) is probably a direct result of "twas the night before Christmas" written by Clements Clarke Moore which was originally published in the Sentinel in New York. It was sent to the publication anonymously. It was only later found out that Clements had written it. The story tells of a white bearded man dressed all in red with red cheeks and a jolly laugh. He was carried around the world by 8 tiny reindeer. As years passed, he was more well known as a chubby man.
Unfortunately, this happy man and his reindeer have become somewhat idols and have taken over the true meaning of Christmas. He is used to sell billions of dollars in toys. The true Saint Nicholas would definitely be ashamed of what his image has become.
Now my opinion on this subject is that a child can be told the stories of Santa but should not be led to believe he is real. I never believed in lying to my children. I also believe that by planting the lies in the child's head it is more likely that those children will have a more difficult accepting Jesus. Also, he takes the focus off of Jesus.
Now, I am not a Scrooge by any means but the true meaning of Christmas and the gifts to the poor have almost completely been obliterated by society today and been replaced by commercialism, the spending of money and competing with your neighbor. Also, many non-Christians are trying to obliterate the Savior from this holiday and Santa certainly hasn't helped in that matter.
I pray our Country can come full circle and go back to the true meaning of Christmas, the gift of salvation that Jesus gave us all.
other links to read on the subject
- The History and Tradition of St Nick's Day
As a child we celebrated Saint Nicholas Day every December 6th. It was the beginning of the Christmas season for us. It was better known to us as St Nick's day though.