To Christians, celebrating Christmas is to honor Jesus Christ, who was born to save the world. During the Christmas season, Christians are constantly participating in activities that celebrate Jesus, who was thought to have been born then. Despite Jesus being the biggest celebrant of the day, Santa Claus has also been a familiar Christmas figure for a long time. Some Christians have wondered, “What does Santa have to do with Jesus?”
Santa Claus has no relationship with Jesus Christ and was only associated with Christmas due to his links with Saint Nicholas, an olden-day generous man. Since Christmas has been associated with the virtue of gift-giving, Santa Claus got associated with the day. However, some scholars have linked Santa Claus to Jesus because Saint Nicholas was regarded as a follower of Christ and the idea of Santa Claus came from his character.
As Christmas holiday enthusiasts, some Christians would like to know more about Santa Claus and his relationship with Jesus. They have been asking several questions. Where did Santa originate from? How different is Jesus from Santa? Should a Christian believe in Santa? These and other questions have been discussed in the article below. Read to the end to find out.
Where did Santa come from?
Santa Claus is a familiar Christmas character whose origin dates back to around 1930 when his standard appearance was broadcasted. Santa is linked to Saint Nicholas of Myra, an ancient Christian church leader from Asia. Saint Nicholas was said to be one of the most generous and humble church leaders of his time who had a big heart for giving.
When his wealthy parents died, Nicholas was recorded as having used his inheritance to uplift the lives of the poor. St Nicholas is strongly linked to Santa Claus due to an old legend about his generosity. The legend states that St Nicholas dropped money down the chimney of a low-income family three times to help them pay the dowry for their three daughters. The daughters almost started prostitution due to the lack of dowry, but Saint Nicholas saved them with generosity. Other legends depicted him dropping money through windows.
After his death, artists tried drawing impressions of him doing generous deeds. The tradition of gift-giving did not die, and a legend of Sinterklaas arose during this time. The legend had it that well-behaved children would leave their shoes outside, and a bearded priestly man with red clothing would visit and fill them with candies. The celebrations were combined with those of the generous Saint Nicholas, and Santa became associated with the day. The modern image of Santa was first broadcasted around 1930 in a commercial, and since then, Santa has been a short fat man with a white beard and red clothing distributing gifts.
How is Jesus different from Santa?
Santa is traditionally thought to live at the North Pole. After making the one-time-a-year trip distributing gifts during Christmas, he returns to his residence the following Christmas. Jesus, on the other hand, is believed to be in heaven. The Bible has depicted Jesus as a resident of heaven since his ascension. That has been his dwelling place, but he is also omnipresent in spirit. When his name is called upon, his presence is felt anywhere, as Christians believe.
Santa distributes material gifts and goodies like money, candies, and other materials people crave. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, has eternal gifts to Christians, like forgiveness of sin and eternal life. As Santa delivers perishables, the gifts from Christ are everlasting.
Santa drops his surprises down the chimney and ensures his identity is hidden. Jesus reveals himself to Christians before gently asking to enter their hearts. As Jesus is always ready to answer our calls and knows our needs, we have to wait for our turn to ask Santa for the gifts we would like from him. Santa does not know a person’s needs and needs to be informed.
Finally, while Santa is just a legend from stories, Jesus is an actual being who existed, and there are several scriptures to back his existence. These differences prove that Jesus Christ is very different from Santa and has played a massive role in the world compared to Santa.
How is Santa related to Christianity?
Santa is linked to Christianity based on the assumption that his character was inspired by a Christian Saint known as Nicholas, who lived centuries ago. As a Christian church leader, Nicholas of Myra was known to be very generous and always helped people by dropping their gifts and whatever they needed down chimneys. He had a heart for helping the poor.
Years later, the character of Santa Claus was born and drew inspiration from Saint Nicholas. Before Santa Claus took over this tradition, the art of giving gifts and dropping them down chimneys and windows was first associated with Nicholas.
Despite Santa not having a direct link to Christianity, drawing inspiration from a virtuous church leader is commendable. Christianity is a religion that supports generosity and helping the poor, and since Santa plays this role, he is not disregarded by Christians.
Do Christians believe in Santa?
Some Christians believe in Santa, while some do not. This is because Santa Claus is not a part of Christian teachings. In the Bible, Santa is not mentioned and does not directly influence Christians’ lives. While some Christians believe that Santa is a character who exists, some only associate him with legends and nothing more than that.
Why does Santa come when we celebrate the birth of Jesus?
Jesus Christ came as a gift to humanity and also taught the art of generosity and giving. This has always been associated with the Christmas season. As a character inspired by giving, Santa Claus is regarded as worthy of being associated with Christmas, the season of giving.
Can Christian children enjoy Santa while honoring Christ?
Christians can enjoy Santa while honoring Christ during the Christmas period. As a Christian, Jesus Christ should be the only reason to celebrate Christmas and should be the reason for the season. However, one can still receive gifts from Santa as long as they don’t alter the day’s meaning.
Christmas and the art of Gift Giving
What you need to know about Santa Claus
History and Facts about Santa Claus
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.