Santa Claus, Who is That Guy? A Journey to the Celebration

Posted on December 20, 2009. Filed under: Children, Christmas, Faith, Family, Heaven, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

Santa Claus, who is that guy? Most of us know him as the old, overweight, dude, with white hair and a long beard, wearing a red suit and a hat.  Originally, the inspiration for Santa Claus began with a man name St. Nicolas of Myra, a very religious man who lived in the 4th century, and spent much of his time giving to the poor.  In America, we know him more as the guy who’s legend began in the 19th century, and has the ability to go to every house in the entire world on a sleigh powered by reindeer.  Then he makes himself small enough to go into the house through the chimneys, bringing all the good children of the world toys.  He does this in one night, Santa Claus, who is that guy anyway?

The first time I began to have doubts of Santa’s existence was while I was in the 3rd grade.  A kid living across the street said Santa was not real.  I did not want to believe the kid, so as I recall, I was in the 5th grade before I stopped believing that anyone could go around the world in a few hours to distribute toys to all the kids of the world.  I remember the first Christmas when my Dad realized my brother and I knew that Santa was a fake.  As in every Christmas of our past, all of the presents under the tree said they were from Santa.  Each time my father gave a present to my brother and I, he would say, “To Daryl (or Marc), from Santa, who is that guy“.   My brother was 1 1/2 years younger than me, so the myth and legend did not last as long for him, thanks to me.

Then, I had children of my own, and for my two oldest, their coming to the realization Santa was not real seemed not to bother them, as it was just a time in their life where they matured.  For my youngest daughter, who has a very playful and vivid imagination, her finding out the truth about Santa was very traumatic.  When she was in the 5th grade, her older brother got a Star Wars trash can for Christmas (from Santa) of course.  About a month later, as I went into my sons bedroom, noticed a bunch of trash on the floor and remarked that he should use the Star Wars trash can that his Mother and I got him this past Christmas.  My youngest daughter was standing there, and after I mentioned about my wife and I giving the trash can to my son for Christmas, my daughter began to scream and cry because she now knew the truth about Santa, that he doe not exist except in our imagination.

The big issue with my daughter finding out about Santa was, as she so aptly put it, “you have lied to me for my entire life”.  She was so upset that it took about a day for her to calm down about Santa.  My Son was the one who was able to get through to her about Santa, that it was no big deal, because all we were doing by letting her believe in Santa was giving her a fictional character to have fun with every year at Christmas time.

I am a very faithful to God, and to the believe that Jesus was born on Christmas day to establish a way for me to go to heaven through my faith in Him and His death, burial, and resurrection.  Many Christians would say that believing in Santa, or telling our children about Santa is a bad thing, as if we were worshipping idols.  I know that God does not us to put other gods before him, for the Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 5:7, “‘You shall have no other gods before me.”  Moses gave this commandment he had received from God when he was with Him on Mount Sinai.  Now, if I was worshipping Santa, I would say I have a problem, for God told me not to worship other things, but only God.  So, the question is this; Santa Claus, who is that guy?

Personally, I can not agree with Christians who get all worked up over having some fun at Christmas time with Santa Claus, although I respect their belief.  I just look at Santa as the fictional character he is, a guy who we can have some fun with while the children are young.  We get to take pictures of the kids, while they sit on his lap, telling him what they would like to get for Christmas.  That is fun stuff!  Now, in the case of my daughter, I wish she could have found out about Santa in another way, so that she would not have been upset, but oh well, what are you going to do.

The point is this, Santa is just a fictional character we use in order to have a diversion in life, it is a way for us to break away from all of the reality we live in like the economy, going to work, paying the bills, etc.  Santa is not something we worship or truly believe in.  For children, it is a way for them to expand their imaginations while they are young, for he is harmless guy who brings joy and toys to them at Christmas time.  When they get old enough to realize he is not real, then some of the innocence is lost, and they start wanting to develop other people to look up to like Tiger Woods or Taylor Swift.  We need to remember, we should not worship anyone or anything other than God.

If you are a Christian, then from the very beginning, you should bring your child up with the true meaning of Christmas, that we are celebrating the birthday of Jesus, our Lord and savior.  It is your responsibility to teach your children the truth, but while on the journey of life, it is okay for all of us to have an imagination, to take ourselves out of our normal everyday lives and into a time of letting our imaginations run free.  We are not worshipping Santa, we are having fun with the thought that he brings toys to the children, that’s all, nothing more.  Like when we go to a movie, such as the new Avatar movie which I saw last night, it is not real, but a whole lot of fun to watch.  Each family can do what they want when it comes to their children, but in my view, Santa is the jolly old fellow we see in the cartoons, in the books, and in the movies.  I totally enjoy having fun with Santa.

Last point, have you been naughty or nice, because you know, Santa doesn’t bring toys to children who have been naughty, regardless if you are young or old.  By the way, my wife of almost 24 years says I am just a BIG CHILD, and I have been nice this year; OH YES, I HAVE BEEN NICE.  Bring on the presents Santa!

May God always bless your journey through life,

Daryl Dho

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