Q. I recently received quite a shellacking from a co-worker when I was in the process of explaining some of the pagan origins of the traditions that are associated with Christmas. I had expressed my disdain for the practice of my church to include Santa Claus in this annual observance. I believe that Satan employs many different tactics to divert our attention from the saving grace of God. In this particular instance, it happens to be a ” jolly old elf”.
Aside from the obvious emphasis on materialism, I believe that the Santa hoax lays the dangerous groundwork for skepticism in the future beliefs of any child. I once witnessed such a troubling occurrence when, upon discovering the truth about Santa, an angry small boy questioned also the reality of Jesus. I am not certain that the secular world’s attempt to disassociate Christ’s name from the holiday is something that the Church should resist. Am I in error?
A. If you’re in error then we both are. A couple of years ago, I wrote an editorial suggesting we give Christmas, or Feast of Saturnalia as it was once known, back to the Pagans and begin celebrating the Lord’s birth in the early fall when it likely took place.
This would give Christians a chance to divest this important event of all the pagan and commercial baggage it’s picked up over the years and allow us to focus on its real meaning. It would also take us out of the battle for recognition with all the other religions who want to horn in on our holy day.
I believe Santa Claus is a false god, knowing everything and being everywhere, rewarding good folks and punishing bad ones. These are things only the Creator of the Universe can do.