Santa Claus is coming to town.
At least, Gene Autry sang that to be a fact, about a million times, and keeps right on selling records indicating such. So it must be true. Something about Santa Claus keeps us all young at heart, whether he makes it to our home or not. “Better watch
out,” Gene adds in his own chart-topping composition,“Here comes Santa Claus.”
Always bothered us when classmates tried to persuade us Santa Claus never existed, even though he sure was tall and skinny sometimes, looked different every time we saw him and the worst thing of all: those weird boots he wore. Top it off, he usually came riding on the fire truck. Where were eight tiny reindeer, or even a one-horse open sleigh?
It’s been over four decades since we portrayed Santa Claus. Not that we really wanted to, but Mom insisted, and after a few years of cooperating, we anticipated it, too. Now picture this: six feet tall, less than 100 pounds, red skin-tight pajamas and our peach fuzz was far from a beard, but we wore a semblance of one. Certainly, we had tall black boots.
Our “ho-ho-ho” did brighten spirits of two-dozen rest home patients we were delivering each a fresh fruit sack. Of course, they all recognized us, and we knew them from our grocery route. We were even asked to drive our pony team, Trigger and Pat, on the buggy, to the rural electric company Christmas party and distribute presents.
Saint Nicholas was born in Turkey, became a bishop and was revered for his generosity, kindness and love of children. He is the patron saint of sailors, Sicily, Greece, Russia and, of course, children. It became the custom to give gifts to loved ones on his saint’s day, December 6, the date of his death in 345.
Later, Christians adopted Saint Nicholas for Christmas day, which commemorates when God gave the greatest gift of all: Christ Jesus for the redemption of the world. Saint Nicholas was misspelled as Sint Nikolaas, became Sinter Klaas and finally Santa Claus. As nice as Mr. Claus is, we must not forget we celebrate Christmas for Jesus’
“The angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I will bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. This shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger,” according to Saint Luke 2:10-12.
Saint Luke 2:14 emphasizes:“Give glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Importance of the birth is clarified in Saint John 1:14: “The Word became a man and lived among us. We saw his glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father. The Word was full of grace and truth.”