Presently, the Santa Claus narrative offers society a subtle argument against the incarnation.
Historically, reverence for St. Nicholas has encourage many to live out an incarnational ethic of generosity. Unfortunately, recent legends about the Jolly Elf of the North have resulted in a peculiar reshaping of the term “faith”.
This month, hundreds of “Christmas” movies and “Christmas” songs call everyone, young and old to “believe”. Believe in human goodness, believe in Baby Jesus, believe in Christmas, believe in Santa Claus. The primary virtue, for a month, is child-like faith.
We even have prayers sung to Santa Claus to redeem the world.
I heard recently (On Delila) that the reason for the season is “that baby in the manger”. Therefore, even grown-ups are encouraged to “believe” in Santa (or something) and demonized if they reject him based on empirical evidence. However, NOBODY “thinks” Santa really lives at the North Pole.
Children are told, Santa is real believe in him. Jesus is real, believe in Him. Eventually they will figure out that nobody thinks Santa is real, only to wonder why so many people think Jesus is. Maybe they’ll continue to “believe” in Jesus as a representative of human goodness-A beautiful expression of generosity. But just like there is no Santa to write, there really can’t be a God who became man.
Be careful about what you tell your children, you just might damn them to hell.