Christmas, Santa and Holiday Madness

For the record, I love St. Nicholas. Nicholas was born around 280 AD and was a bishop in what is modern day Turkey. He is without a doubt one of my favorite early church leaders. Now, that could simply be, as the story goes, that he once punched a heretic by the name of Arius (think modern day Jehovah Witnesses for the closest belief system) in the face during the council of Nicaea (325 AD). To be sure, the Santa Claus figure of today, while named for this ancient Church father, are not the same but I still can’t help but get a good chuckle whenever I see a Santa in the mall. Unfortunately, Santa can be and probably has been a very divisive issue among Christians and local churches. While I do not promote Santa nor do I believe he has any place within the local church’s celebration of the birth of Christ (if your church celebrates Christmas), I am no Grinch. As a matter of fact, I love Christmas and even love the idea of Santa (please don’t stone me). I love the idea of Santa because he promotes generosity, kindness, care and love for your fellow man. In a way, Santa is what so many people hope to be or want others to be. Other’s however, do not share my affinity for Santa. I am sure that all 2 or 3 of you who actually read my blog have heard of a guy named David Grisham. If you haven’t click on the name and check out the article. David Grisham is the Grinchy street preacher in Amarillo Texas who recently went into a mall and started yelling that Santa Claus was not real. Yeah, a real stand up guy that one. Still, despite his ignorant actions, and I am surprised that he made it out alive (hey, its Texas after all), my hope is that whether we celebrate Christmas or not (it is a matter of Christian liberty after all) we will be charitable in all of our dealings with brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever their position on Santa and lets celebrate the real reason we celebrate and exchange gifts, God Himself became a man to die in our place so that in His life, death, burial and resurrection we have the hope of salvation.

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