On Day 9 of our “Christmas Goodies”, we shall reflect on Santa Claus
What it is?
Santa Claus is a figure with legendary and historic origins, who is said to bring gifts to good children
He is depicted as a joyous, white-bearded man – sometimes with spectacles – wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and carries a bag full of gifts for children
What elements can we learn from this Christmas Goodie -“Santa Claus”?
- Santa Claus is primarily a figure inspired from a Saint.
St Nicholas of Myra, a 4th century saint, is the prominent inspiration behind this extremely popular (and sadly, highly commercialised) figure associated with Christmas; the word “Santa Claus” probably coming from the Dutch word “Sinterklass” (= Saint Nicholas)
St Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. In particular, he presented three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian family, with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.
St Nicholas, whose feast we celebrate on the 6th of December, reminds us of being sensitive to the needs of others and invites us to be faithful to the “call of every Christian to be a Saint!
- Santa Claus denotes a primary virtue of Christianity – Giving.
Santa/ Father Christmas / Christmas Papa? synonymous names of Santa Claus immediately brings to our minds gifts and goodies.
This gift-giving image of the jolly good old-man, ought to remind us of the virtue of “self-giving” that lies at the core of the Season of Christmas. Jesus, “emptied Himself” (Phil 2: 7) and gave Himself totally to us. He continues to offer Himself wholly in His Holy Eucharist.
- Santa Claus is also an unpleasant reminder not to make Christmas just a commercialised event!
To many people, Santa Claus is the symbol of Christ being dethroned from Christmas.
There is much commercialism associated with Santa Claus; there is much fanfare and excitement connected with Santa Claus.
But in the midst of all this clamour of joy and celebration, perhaps Jesus, the Babe, whose birth is the reason for this season, gets forgotten. Santa seems to be even robbing the glory that is due solely only to the Lord!
Santa Claus is thus, also a dark reminder of keeping the “focus right” in every celebration. All external celebrations have to be directly and necessarily be the expression of the inner joy and peace that is experienced – in cherishing Christ being born in one’s heart!
- Santa Claus is a challenge for us Christians to impart the true meaning of Christmas to all
To many of our non-Christian people, Santa Claus seems to be a higher reason for our celebration, than Jesus Himself
Santa Claus can become a means to remind our non-Christian people especially, that Jesus is the most important cause of this wonderful festivity, and Santa Claus is only a figure to express that joy and mirth, that we experience
- The figure of Santa reminds us of many important Christian virtues
The red colour in the dress of Santa Claus points to the blood, that would be shed by Christ, for the remission of our sins! Yes, undoubtedly, Christmas is a joyful celebration. But where there is Christ, there is the Cross! And where there is Cross, there is the Sacrifice – signified in the red colour!
The long white beard of Santa, points to the aspect of Wisdom. Old age refers to being wise, with the loads of experience of life. As King Solomon asked God for wisdom, the whiteness of Santa’s beard invites us to seek for the Wisdom of God, in all our undertakings
The contagious and infectious cheer and joy of Santa Claus is represented by his big pot-belly! It is an exhortation to every person, to live a life of joy and happiness, knowing that Jesus, the Saviour and our Hope is born into our life-situations of hopelessness, uncertainty and fear!
- Santa Claus also reminds us to always have a child-like nature
Children are the most excited lot, on seeing Santa Claus.
The smiles on the faces of children, the excitement in receiving the gifts, the thrill to shake hands with him, the exhilaration to dance with him – these are amazing qualities that very often, in our growing up as adults, are lost
Jesus, who Himself became a Child and Who says, “Unless you become little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3), calls us to always be the “little children of our Heavenly Father” – having the spirit of openness, the attitude of simplicity and a heart of innocence.
- Santa Claus also reminds us to nurture hope and look to higher things of life
The fun-time spent with Santa Claus takes away, “for a brief moment at least” our worries, stress and tensions. Santa also keeps us excited about the gifts that he has in store for us.
It is a beautiful reminder of how we need to put our trust in the Lord, who alone can give us true peace and joy of life – for eternity (Jn 14:27)
It also tells us to “seek for gifts” – not simply material, but spiritual in nature and “not to get conformed to the standards of this world, but to have our minds transformed!” (Rom 12:2)
What resolutions can I practise today?
Today I will seek to understand that all external signs of Christmas are only to remind me of the real importance of Christ and that “Jesus alone is the reason for this season”!
Today I will seek to become more child-like, filled with the joy and peace of trusting in our Heavenly Father, who is the Giver of every Gift and Blessing!
MARANATHA – COME, LORD JESUS!
We welcome you into our hearts! God Bless!