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Believing in Saint Nick Letting Santa Claus come to town

By The Charger Account Editorial Staff Dec. 15, 2022

As children, our parents taught us about Santa Claus, feeding us tales of the mystical man who brings presents on the night of Christmas Eve. He slides down the chimney to reward kids who are “nice,” incentivizing positive behavior and discouraging misbehavior. To many, Santa Claus symbolizes the magic of Christmas; he is the inspiration behind many holiday traditions, such as baking cookies to leave by the chimney. However, others believe that the practice is misleading, with some parents choosing to tell their children the truth about Santa.

The tale of Santa Claus dates back over a millennium to a monk named Saint Nicholas. History explains that Nicholas was born around 280 A.D. in present-day Turkey and became a legend for allegedly giving away his inherited wealth to travel the countryside and care for the poor and the sick. Known as a protector of children and sailors, Nicholas became the most popular saint in Europe by the Renaissance. Saint Nicholas Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Nicholas, is still celebrated in many Western European countries on Dec. 6, the day of his death.

For the rest of the world, Santa Claus visits on Dec. 25—Christmas Day, celebrating the birth of Christ. Pennsylvanian newspaper The Daily Item explains that in the eyes of many Christians, teaching children that Santa Claus exists cultivates a negative precedent that contradicts the foundational Christian value of honesty. Moreover, when children eventually discover the truth that Santa does not exist, they may question their parents’ authority and God’s existence. These parents believe that Christmas should be focused on celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, not the myth of Santa Claus or the presents.

Despite its religious origins, Christmas has gradually transformed into a secular holiday celebrated across the world. It is no longer strictly for commemorating the birth of Christ, but also a day for people to spend extra time with their loved ones, exchanging gifts and taking part in activities like listening to Christmas music or watching holiday rom-coms that have become distinctive to “holiday culture.”

We believe in the power of Santa—each of us has had our own unique experiences with the jolly man in the red suit. Although it was undeniably disappointing to learn the truth, the memories we made, the magical stories we dreamed about Santa and the Christmas spirit we experienced will last a lifetime. While we respect those who choose to tell their children the truth, we understand the reasons behind our parents’ secrecy and feel that believing in Santa plays a formative and integral role during childhood and holiday festivities.

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