I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Where did the idea of Santa originate?

on December 15, 2013

Our modern day Santa did not originate from a round and jovial figure with a long white beard, dressed in a red suit.  Instead this idea was influenced by a simple Christian bishop who loved God and loved people.  His name was Bishop Nicholas who later became a saint and was referred to as St. Nicholas.

The story began in Lycia, which is now a province of Turkey.  A merchant, who had 3 daughters, had lost his fortune and was unable to pay for their dowry, so they were unable to marry.  In those days, unmarried and penniless women were often forced into slavery or prostitution in order to survive.  (Just a side note – sadly, many women are in this same situation today).  The father prayed for a miracle and he got one.  Bishop Nicholas was a wealthy man and he found out about the merchant’s situation.

In the middle of the night, the bishop secretly brought a bag of gold to the merchant’s house and put it through a window, which allowed the oldest daughter to get married.  Later, another bag of gold appeared at the merchant’s house and the middle daughter got married.  The  merchant wanted to discover who was bringing the gold, so he watched every night until the third bag of gold was dropped through the window.  Then he followed the man and caught him going down the road.

The merchant recognized the bishop and wanted to thank him, but the bishop made him promise that he would not tell anyone until after his death.  He believed that good deeds should be done in secret and he didn’t want to receive any praise.  After he died, the world discovered how many people Bishop Nicholas had helped throughout his lifetime.  It is due to his generosity, that the tradition of giving gifts began.  In Europe, people began leaving nuts, fruit and sweets on windowsills, the hearth or even in shoes.  This custom gained popularity over the years and many changes have taken place.

The kindness and generosity that was displayed by Bishop Nicholas has been replaced by greed.  Doing an act of kindness for those in need has changed into seeing how much stuff we can acquire for ourselves.  Finding simple, inexpensive gifts is now a competition to see how much money we can spend and how many possessions we can accumulate.    The sweet, loving bishop has turned into a silly, laughing man in a red and white suit.

You can probably tell that I’m not a fan of Santa.   When my children were small, I did the Santa thing.  We went to the mall, took pictures and I always left presents under the tree from Santa.  Now I’m not so sure this is a good thing.  Imagination is good for a child, but what are we teaching them?  Do they even know what Christmas is all about?

Commercialism and consumerism has destroyed Christmas.  It is no longer fun.  I see people spending so much money on stuff they don’t need and they teach their kids to ask Santa for things like computers and TV’s.  Kids don’t need a lot of presents at Christmas.  They need our love and our attention.  We need to stop spending more money and start spending more time with them.

Christmas is a time for peace and joy but many people are stressed and unhappy.  Take time to stop and think about why we celebrate Christmas.  We received the best gift over 2000 years ago and it still brings hope and love into our hearts if we just take the time to remember.




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