The Real Santa Claus and a Homeless Jesus

Old Saint Nick

As I read this reflection on St. Nick in the Common Prayer liturgy the other day, I was stirred at the contrast between the selfless generosity of this saint and the consumerist wish lists we now associate to the modern Santa Claus.

While, there is almost no chance Jesus was born in December and Christmas as a holiday didn’t exist for the first 300+ years after Jesus birth, it is still a holiday worth celebrating.  Let’s just celebrate it in a way that would do the homeless Jesus and the selfless St. Nick honor.

In their eyes, less is much, much more.

“The original “old Saint Nick” who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus, Nicholas was bishop of Myra in fourth century Turkey. Little is known about his life except that he entrusted himself to Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor. While serving as bishop, Nicholas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father. Moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom the lives of these little ones, he tossed three bags of gold through the family’s window. We remember this ancient Christmas gift, even as we remember that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today.”


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