By: Chrisy Osterkamp
Where Did Santa Come from Anyway?
So where in the world did Santa come from, anyway? I learned about him when my daughters and I took a trip to Colorado, where there is a theme park called North Pole, Colorado, a Christmas themed park near Pike’s Peak. It is a beautiful park full of all the sights, sounds and wonders of Christmas, and among all the attractions is a beautiful little chapel housing a large plaque which tells the wonderful story of how Santa Claus came to be. Nicholas was born around AD 270 in Patara, Lycia, Asia Minor, to Christian parents. His mother and father, Theophanes and Nonna, vowed to dedicate their son to God, after a lengthy time of childlessness.
The Life and Times of The Real Santa Claus
Nicholas’s sainthood was not “bestowed” upon him by the Catholic church, but by popular opinion of generations of people of many nations, Nicholas became known as a saint. The very definition of “saint” describes Nicholas perfectly: “A person who lived a life devoted to God; a worthy example of holiness, virtue, or kindness and charity; someone who lets God's love shine through them to the world.”
A Controversial Figure?
Nicholas was appointed a bishop around the year AD 300, (interestingly the same age as Jesus when He began His earthly ministry). Bishop Nicholas strove to do good deeds in secret (which eventually evolved into coming in the middle of the night down our chimneys, only while we were sleeping, lest we receive lumps of coal instead). Many witnesses claim Bishop Nicholas reportedly performed many miracles such as calming the waves of the sea, healing people, and driving out demons. If you think that these reports sound like a false Messiah, remember the words of Jesus in John 14:12, when He tells His disciples, “ Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
His Love for Children
Being orphaned as a child, Bishop Nicholas had a burning love for children, and it is said that he would toss little pouches of coins through the windows of the homes of poor children, and sometimes the pouches would land in the stockings that were washed and hung on the windowsill to dry. When finding all the windows of the house shut, he would toss the pouch up onto the roof, where it went down the chimney.
Was Santa Claus a Real Person? What Every Kid Should Know this Christmas
I have heard concerned young parents question all the commercialism, the materialism, and the symbols of Christmas that seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with the celebration of Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, and the Savior of the world.
However, be of good cheer! The round, jolly, generous man in the red suit may have gone through many transformations over the centuries, but my children and I shared traditions about the real man who grew to be the legendary Santa Claus. We enjoy the stories which evolved over the years, including leaving milk and cookies out for Santa so he would have something to eat after struggling to get down our chimney with all our presents. My mother did a wonderful job of sharing the Christmas spirit with my brothers and me by leaving something out unwrapped that we never saw until Christmas morning, presumably from Santa. I confess that even now my children are grown I cannot resist the temptation to label at least one of their gifts not from me, but from Santa. I do not begrudge any child the joy and wonder of dreaming about Santa and all the good and wonderful things he represents. So as we should all remember the reason for the season, and to keep Christ in Christmas, I submit that for my family and me, we say Santa Claus, AKA St. Nicholas, dedicated every aspect of his life to God’s service, and pointed nations and generations to Christ through his example, and will deserve a place in our home and our traditions. Merry Christmas!!!
If you have other questions about St. Nicholas or about the birth of Jesus, we invite you to fill out the contact form and talk with one of the Pastors of Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.
Epikos Community Blog
Welcome to the Epikos Community Blog where you can find and read blog posts from members of Epikos Church in Bend, OR. At Epikos we believe in the value of every member and this is a place for members to share about the work God is doing in their lives.