Monday, December 14, 2009

The Real Santa Claus

By Travis L. Quertermous

On Christmas Eve, according to Christmas tradition, Santa Claus comes down our chimneys to leave presents for all the good little boys and girls. What many people are not aware of is that the legend of Santa Claus evolved from a real-life Christian named Nicholas.

Nicholas was born to wealthy Christian parents in the ancient Greek city of Myra in the late third century A.D. His parents died while he was a child, but they had raised him to be a devout Christian. Nicholas spent the rest of his life and the wealth he had inherited taking care of the poor and needy, especially the children, often enduring terrible persecution from the Roman authorities. Nicholas was appointed a bishop in the church at Myra and the Roman Catholic Church later canonized him as “St. Nicholas,” Many myths about Nicholas grew up around him after his death so that the historical children’s gift-giver “St. Nicholas” ultimately evolved into the legendary Santa Claus.

Nicholas epitomized the Bible’s teaching on giving. For example, the apostle Paul once said, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Let us remember that the holiday season is about giving, not getting; about generosity, not greediness; and that it is not limited to Christmastime.

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the church of Christ in Dexter, MO. He may be contacted at or through the church’s website:

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