Satur-deja Vu

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That ball cap isn’t much of a disguise. Santa may have a workshop full of elves making toys but he gets his produce at Kroger just like the rest of us. Thanks for stopping by, welcome to the Satur-deja Vu. Continue reading

Saint Nicholas Day

saint nicholasSanta Claus is as American as apple pie, created by department stores and manufactures to sell more stuff (Santa Claus has not sold out).

Today (Friday, December 6) is Saint Nicholas Day, which honors the real guy. I hope you left your shoes out. Happy Saint Nicholas Day. 


Christians and Santa Claus

I opened the floor for comments on Santa and got them.  I didn’t go out looking for it, but ran across this sermon outline.  If you’re looking for a scriptural basis that Santa is from Satan, well there it is.  And now for my bit.

Christmas – It’s worth noting to begin with that not all Christians celebrate Christmas.  The Christ mass is Roman Catholic in origin, which is enough to cause some Protestants to avoid it.  Eastern Orthodoxy originally celebrated the day in January, and few countries using the Julian calendar (such as Ethiopia and Russia) still do.  Many of the traditions are clearly not Christian, and some speculate (the history is uncertain) that the December 25th date corresponds to the winter solstice and pagan celebrations.  Tree decorating really was a pagan element that Christians “borrowed” for their own celebration.  The argument can also be made that there is no scriptural command to celebrate Christ’s birth.  Jesus said “This do in remembrance of me” at the Last Supper, but after his birth is recorded in the Gospels there is really no further mention of it.  Only two Gospels record the birth of Christ, Matthew and Luke, but all four record his death, burial and resurrection.  The incarnation is fundamental to Christian theology, but celebrating Jesus’ birth is not. Continue reading

What About Santa Claus?

How do Christians feel about ________?  Regardless of how you fill in the blank, the answer will depend on which Christian you ask.  I just want to poll the audience on this one: What does your family do with Santa Claus?

The cartoons below express radically different viewpoints.  In one, Santa is portrayed almost as an enemy of Jesus.  In the other, he bows his head and worships.  Is there anything left of Saint Nicolas in our modern Santa?

There is a third option.  Some families watch Christmas specials that feature Santa Claus and celebrate “that special feeling of the holidays” and also read the Bible and honor the birth of Jesus.  You could hang stockings and put up a manger scene.  You could light a Christmas tree and light the candles of an Advent wreath.  Is celebrating with the culture while keeping the faith an offense to both?

UPDATE: I held my piece for a few days and tried to give everyone a chance.  Here is my response.

From the Archives: Christmas

Here are a few articles on Christmas from years past that might be worth another look:

Rethinking the Angelic Choir examines the words of scripture carefully and challenges our notion of the angels that announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.  The first thing angels always say when they appear in full glory to human beings is “Do not be afraid.”  If they were beautiful women in choir robes, why would people tremble in fear?

Santa Claus Has Not Sold Out suggests that Santa has not become commercialized, but rather our American image of Santa is the product of commercialism.  He wears a red and white suit because of those early 20th century Coca-Cola ads, and comes down the chimney because of department store Santas standing on the roof.

Christmas Card Theology is from last year, and begs the question what do we learn from the pictures on the Christmas cards we send? There are several things besides the fact that angels are beautiful women with long blonde hair.

All of the posts for Christmas and Advent are listed under the tag in the categories list, but these are a few of my favorites.

Santa Claus Has Not Sold Out

r_santa-claus-ad-coca-colaOne of my favorite quotes might need some explaining.  “The Fourth of July is not now, nor has it ever been, what it used to be.”  If you get it, move on to the next paragraph.  If not, it’s another way of saying that memory is generative.  Imagine being 9 years old.  4th of July is a magical time of hotdogs, baseball, fireworks, camping, cookouts, and it seems like nothing could make that holiday better.  The truth is, there were also social evils in the world, unemployment, crime; you just did not know about it.  Some people hated Independence Day with an undying passion, perhaps hated America.  But over the years, you remember how great it was, and any problems you were aware of at the time have vanished from your memories.  When you hear someone say “The 4th of July is not what it used to be,” they’re right.  It’s not.  And it never was what they remember. Continue reading