The death of Santa
WARNING: Don’t read this aloud to your kids if they’re under the age of 12.
You won’t read much about this in the news feeds or on social media. But I want to talk for a moment about the death of Santa. Let me explain.
Christmas has become all about the gifts, and that’s connected (loosely) to the legend of Santa. As you likely know, Santa is a figure loosely based on “Saint Nicholas” a 3rd century Bishop (from Myra in modern day Turkey) who allegedly gave generous gifts to those in his community out of his own great riches. (for more info, click here)
Here’s the irony…the one who really started all the gift giving is God himself. In fact, you could even make a case that Jesus was the first “Santa” since the apostle Paul reminds us that, “when he ascended…he gave gifts to his people.” (Ephesians 4:8) He gave out of his own great riches. Think about it…hasn’t he given you the gift of forgiveness? Of freedom? Of hope? Of new life itself?
And yet none of this would have been possible without his sacrificial death on the cross. Before there was a traditional Christmas tree, there was a tree that was connected to Christmas. That tree was in the shape of a wooden beam…the cross. And the one who gave gifts to all gave the gift of his life.
So this year, exchange your gifts (if there are any left). Enjoy your friends and family. Feast on whatever tasty treats make your holiday complete. And while you do that, take some time to reflect on this: That we are celebrating ONLY BECAUSE he gave the ultimate gift. His arrival on the planet as a little baby was simply the next step toward the cross. It was his death that opened the door for our life. That is why we can truly have a Merry Christmas.
P.S. For even more details about the history of Santa, check out this site.