St. Nicholas vs. Santa Claus

Santa Claus and St. Nicholas from HERE.

Everybody loves Santa Claus. He embodies holiday cheer, happiness, fun, and gifts—warm happy aspects of the Christmas season. How do Santa Claus and St. Nicholas differ?

Santa Claus belongs to childhood;
St. Nicholas models for all of life.

Santa Claus, as we know him, developed to boost Christmas sales—the commercial Christmas message;
St. Nicholas told the story of Christ and peace, goodwill toward all—the hope-filled Christmas message.

Santa Claus encourages consumption;
St. Nicholas encourages compassion.

Santa Claus appears each year to be seen and heard for a short time;
St. Nicholas is part of the communion of saints, surrounding us always with prayer and example.

Santa Claus flies through the air—from the North Pole;

St. Nicholas walked the earth—caring for those in need.

Santa Claus, for some, replaces the Babe of Bethlehem;
St. Nicholas, for all, points to the Babe of Bethlehem.

Santa Claus isn't bad;

St. Nicholas is just better.

—J. Rosenthal & C. Myers


Therese said...

I can't wait to se that movie! Thanks for posting!

Sarah said...

That movie looks fantastic!! Yay!! =)

Happy St. Nicolas Day! Have a blessed time with your family.

Jamie said...

Great to see some posts from you, I hope you are doing good!

Can't wait for the St Nicholas movie, looks so good!

Anonymous said...

Great reminder Allison. I had no idea there was a movie coming out about St. Nicholas. Thanks for keeping us updated.

Gae said...

This is such a great comparrison for those who need to know. I have found so many people don't recognise the difference.
Thanks for sharing.
Wondering if we will get the movie here
God Bless

Cass said...

Golly, that Nicholas of Myra movie looks GREAT! I am so excited to know that it is in the works...and hoping to view it when it comes out...maybe in time for next Xmas?
Interesting about Santa vs. Saint Nick. I am well familiar with the way parents today--both secular and Christian--sweat over the Santa story, whether to opt in or out, whether to perpetuate the myth--for a time--in the minds of their own children, or to ban it from the beginning.
To me, it seemed perfectly natural just to teach about Saint Nick, and explain--somewhat as you do above--how the true story mutated into the myth, which is still, in its way, a pretty good story. So, the Santa legend has in our household an equivalent status with that of Goldilocks or the Three Little Pigs, but the Saint Nick story is linked to the story of the Babe of Bethlehem, with the very different sort of status that the admixture of wonder, miracle, fact and revelation can contribute.
So obvious and natural an option, seems to me.
We have the CCC dvd of Nicholas, the Boy who became Santa Claus, and it was a big hit this year--exactly to the degree and in the way I hoped it might be. Now, my mouth is practically watering to add Nicholas of Myra to our video collection!
xo, in X.

Christine said...

Good to hear from you also. MISS YOU!!

Thank you for this post. I keep coming back just for this really REALLY good stuff!

Laura O said...

I'm currently one of those parents who wish we'd skipped Santa altogether. I've taught about St. Nicholas, but the boys still have the desire for lots of gifts.

I think I'll be sharing this comparison with hubby and come up with a new plan for the future so the focus of Christmas is on Christ's coming into the world.

Sarah - Kala said...

Very nice indeed!
It's so nice to see you post now and again. You have my prayers

martha unavidaencostrucc said...

easy for my seven year-old daughter to understand..tks a lot! blessings!

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