Every year, kids around the world reach an age where they want to know the truth about SANTA; and soon they also reach an age where they are ready to know the inside story about Christmas. It seems you’ve been growing up, showing responsibility and maturity, so now you’re ready for the whole story!
No one knows for sure how Christmas began, or why. Oh, there are those out there that will insist they know – they’ll tell you they read a book or that someone told them a story so now they know the beginning. The truth is, Christmas began thousands of years ago, long before anyone alive today –
Or even their great – great grandparents! Books have been written since the beginning of time but only one book to we trust to be pure and perfect truth; the Bible. Every other book is written from the perspective of the author, not necessarily the perspective of truth. Some people believe Christmas began to celebrate Baby Jesus’ birthday. Others believe Christmas is a time to worship pagan gods of the sun and winter solstice. Still, others believe it started out pagan, but Christians adapted it to be about Baby Jesus. The truth is, Jesus was born during The Feast of Tabernacles during Rosh Hashanah, which happens in the September – October area. Rosh Hashanah began thousands of years before Baby Jesus was born and the Jews were already celebrating that Feast time of Harvest. Christmas is a time to celebrate all the things given to us with the birth of Christ – redemption, salvation and restoration. Whether Christmas began before the pagan’s began to worship winter, or as a way to counter them, there’s only one thing that matters – Christmas is an opportunity to be a beautiful example of everything Jesus gave us through his life and death.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Jesus died to unlock the doors of heaven, releasing God’s Blessings on the entire Earth, if we so choose to open our hearts and receive it. Those open doors allow our prayers to flow freely and be heard by God Almighty, helped along only by His Holy Spirit. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will take care of widows and orphans – people too poor and unable to take care of themselves. We should give freely of everything we have to give to care for those who cannot care of themselves; because we are loved by God and He provides more than enough for our own needs, we can allow His love and blessings flow through us, to them. Now let’s fast forward a few thousand years or so to a kind and good man who would come to be called, Saint Nicholas. None of the ancient writings agree on where Saint Nicholas came from, what great things he did or when he lived, exactly. We know that in every culture for many centuries, there has been a legend of a Saint Nicholas who worked miracles and gave gifts, always in secret. The Bible says:
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1
“When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do–blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.” – Matthew 6:2
“But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” – Matthew 6:3
“Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:4
Regardless of when or where Saint Nicholas lived, his secret expressions of God’s Love impacted the world so deeply, that we continue those traditions even today. Over time, those traditions have evolved. Satan saw the opportunity to create greed in the hearts of the recipients so they would never be satisfied with whatever gifts they were given. At first, gifts were only exchanged secretly with orphans and poor children, like Saint Nicholas did, and this created jealousy in the hearts of the children of the wealthy. Soon the stories of Saint Nicholas and his charitable gifts of compassion were embellished more with every telling and eventually he came to be called, Santa Claus. Toymakers, with hearts full of greed and strife invented Santa Claus and encouraged children to beg their parents, and Santa, to give them more and more gifts because it made the toymakers a lot of money. Eventually people forgot about the Love of God Saint Nicholas worked so hard to express – the true Joy of Christmas. People are forgetting to help the poor, orphans and widows. They forget that a true GIFT is one given in secret.
That’s why you’ve been recruited to keep the Joy in Christmas. It’s up to those who know the truth to live out loud and put God’s Love in action, for God’s glory only, and not our own. We can remember what Jesus asked us to do, what Saint Nicholas did, and what SANTA could mean, if we keep the true meaning in our hearts.
SANTA – Spiritual Awareness Nourished Through Anonymity
How could S.A.N.T.A. teach us to be spiritually aware? Often times, we start in January keeping an eye on the special people in our lives, getting an idea of what their deepest needs and desires are, in order to get them a wonderful gift next Christmas. It is an act of God’s Love to think of others and how to bless them! That’s a wonderful seed that God’s Holy Spirit can Nourish and grow into an Awareness of the needs of many people in your community or around the world and become aware of the many opportunities available all year long to give of yourself or other resources to express God’s Love all the time, Anonymously.
God Bless Y’all! Merry Christmas!