How Santa stole Christmas

Emily Hirshorn '15

Emily Hirshorn ’15

 

Emily Hirshorn '15
Emily Hirshorn ’15

Once December begins, it seems that Santa is everywhere – on the corner ringing the bell and collecting donations for the Salvation Army, in the mall taking photos with children, in commercials, and on billboards. But who is this man? And how did he take over Christmas?

It takes a lot of work to unwrap the true meaning of Christmas, underneath all of the cellophane, presents, and frenzy. Nowadays, Christmas and Santa go hand in hand. But is this focus on Santa with the white beard and red suit a positive aspect of the Christmas season?

Santa is turning into a commercialized figure that pressures parents to get even more gifts for their children. Then, on Christmas, kids run to the tree to see what Santa has left them, and they tell their friends about the gifts they got.

Sometimes this makes the children wonder, why did Santa bring more presents for you than for me? The irony is that the thanks on Christmas goes to Santa for his gifts, not the parents, or even Jesus for being born and giving us a day to celebrate.

So instead of bringing Santa into the picture as an excuse to get more presents this Christmas season, let’s remember the kind and generous qualities of St. Nicholas. St. Nick obeyed Jesus’ words to sell what he had and give it to the poor. So, he used his entire inheritance to help the needy, sick, and suffering. Because of this, he became known for his generosity to those in need and for his love of children.

Santa should inspire generosity in Christians during the Christmas season rather than be the focus of the holiday celebration. Just like St. Nick, we need to be generous with our time and resources in order to be ready for the real gift of Christmas, our savior Jesus Christ (a gift even Santa can’t bring).

– Emily Hirshorn, Co-Opinions Editor

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/origin-of-santa/