The Santa Claus ordeal...
(Tim: This original piece is by my nephew, Isaiah Taylor, from his blog for kids, Bosaiah's Blog. I'm sure our readers agree his creative ability is undeniable. Here's the young gentleman all decked out with his sibs. If you're a child and would like to read Isaiah's blog, send him an e-mail.) Now before I get into this, if you have any siblings (or you yourself) who believe in Santa Claus and the parents want it to stay that way, don't read this to them. I'm giving you you a fair warning because I could get in big trouble if I caused a little kid to drop their belief in Santa when their parents wanted them to think he was real.
The first point I want to make is that Santa Claus is taking the place of Christ in the Christmas season. The name Christmas has a simple meaning: Christ Worship Service. This is supposed to keep the focus on Christ, but the human mind is very inattentive. Most people don't know how this new religion came to be. It starts with a very generous man.
The story of Saint Nicholas tells of a poor man with three daughters...
In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands something of value: a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man's daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously...
on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home, providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.
And it ends there. Saint Nicholas was a regular human. He did not continue living for thrice the normal human life span working at the north pole. In the bible God pronounced that man's days shall be numbered to one hundred twenty years. In order for Santa to be alive today he would have to be about 200 years old.
Another problem is that all the poor people in Africa get no presents for Christmas. Showing a bit of favoritism, eh Mr. Claus? Going a bit racist? That doesn't fit most people's perspective of Santa. Here's what I think we should view him as:
Most chimneys have a roof on top to keep birds out and a very skinny inside. He would have to break your chimney to get in, and if he did get in, he would most likely end up in a stove instead of a fireplace.
If Santa was real, could you imagine how many tickets he would get every year? He would commit breaking and entering on billions of houses, breaching altitude limits, thus flying in aircraft airspace without clearance from an air-traffic controller, flying an uncertified aircraft and landing it in places unapproved by the FAA, stealing milk and cookies from people's refrigerators, monitoring every aspect of everyone's personal lives without approval of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the list goes on and on. As you can see, if you want to believe in Santa, you have to believe in magic.