Where’s Santa?

In this age of Godless selfishness perhaps it is to our societal credit that many parents still encourage their children–if only in a small way–to believe in Santa Clause for a few cheery days a year.

The holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year’s Eve can be a joyous time for both Christians and Jews. After all, Christmas, and Hanukkah (Chanukah) are very special and personally rewarding observances for most Americans. As a secular personage, Santa Clause has nothing to do with religious faith whatsoever…or does it.

Good old Santa Clause–St. Nicolas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle–is described in many ways. Here in America, we’re told he bops about the night sky on a reindeer powered, gift filled sleigh, dropping into homes through chimneys and other rooftop openings. Never mind, those openings are far too small for a tiny elf, let alone a roly poly fellow in a red suit and boots carrying a sack full of various toys and goodies.

Some say we “shouldn’t fill the minds of children” with such nonsense. Ha! Listen to the nightly news about what Congress is doing and then tell me to not encourage “fairy tales”.

Why cannot ‘Santa’ exist? After all, if he flies around in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, is it not just as reasonable to presume he can ‘appear’ in any living room in the land at will, even missing some in the process? Besides do children not need a bit of cheery fantasy now and again, at least to provide a bit of hope for the future?

Christians celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Jesus Christ, Jesus being singularly important to the Christian faith. Christianity has been the predominant religion in America since the first settlers came to North America, hence the widespread observance.

The history of Hannukah predates Christmas, and is not a Jewish Christmas celebration, even though it takes place close to the same time. Hanukkah is the celebration of the victory over Antiochus, the Greek King of Syria, who outlawed Jewish rituals and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. Most Jews were angry and decided to fight back. In 165 B.C.E, the Jewish Maccabees managed to drive the Syrian army out of Jerusalem and reclaim their temple.

It seems to make sense to us, given the complexities attached to most religious tenets, believing in Santa Clause and the adulthood caring for others that follows, provides children with an ability to more fully understand the importance of their religious beliefs. It is certainly important secularism never supersede religion and faith.

…but, of course, that’s just my strange sense of things.

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