Santa puts the smack down

Thursday’s our annual show-up-to-the-library-and-get-your-picture-taken-with-Santa shindig. We’re fortunate to have a (SPOILER ALERT FOR THE KIDS) county sheriff who doubles as St. Nick every year. It’s always amusing for me, the resident photographer, to see how the wee ones react—a broad spectrum between “Yay, it’s Santa!” accompanied with lots of hugs, and the sobbing and the shrieking and the gnashing of teeth.

Santa’s been on my mind a lot since a rather amusing meme (is that the right term?) went up on Facebook a week or so ago. You know the picture:

302850_391826894231090_701055119_nI particularly got a good snort out of this article at World Magazine. Seems Santa—St. Nicholas, that is—really did put the smack down during the Council of Nicea in a particularly heated debate with everybody’s favorite heretic Arius. It’s mostly funny because I still picture a guy with a white beard in a read suit going “Ho, ho, ho!” while arguing for the coexistence of Christ’s human nature and divinity. And of course, slapping a guy in a robe with his big old mittened hands.

Our boys, believe it or not, are over the Santa thing. That’s right, they don’t believe. And we didn’t even tell them. They figured it on their own. Actually, sometime last year my youngest told my wife there couldn’t be a Santa. Why?

“Because I was naughty all year and I still got presents.”

Yep. Can’t argue a 7-year-old’s logic.

I guess I thought I’d be bothered that they don’t believe in Santa. You know, it’s a traditional American child’s dream. But why should it bother me? Fact is, the most important thing about Christmas is Christ. And yes, I’ve heard all the arguments – it’s not really his birthday, it’s become to secularized/commercial/whatever.

It’s called Christmas. Until they change the name, He’s the one we celebrate.

So back to Santa. We’ve talked with our boys about the real deal, St. Nicholas, and why the tales of generosity and his faith are both important things to remember. It’s a good message for a kid to learn.

The slapping of people in important meetings, well… not so much. But funny.

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