Unexpected Problems In Catechesis

Santa Claus is not part of the Christmas celebration in our family, but since it is part of the broader culture, we have told our kids that Santa is a fun pretend person. A problem arose when our literal-minded eldest daughter went around telling the other kids in the neighborhood that Santa wasn’t real. We sat her down and explained that there was a Christian man named Nicholas who lived long ago and secretly gave money to help other people and that over the years the memory of this man developed into the character of Santa Claus. Then our eldest daughter went around and told the other kids that Santa was a real person, but now he’s dead…

—Joel Norris, Commenting On the HB

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  1. That is the reason why my wife and I don’t celebrate Christmas! We treat it like a secular holiday. I am not German so I refuse to have a tree in the house and to sing about the evergreen tree!

  2. Well, this has my vote not only for #1 in 2014, but possibly the greatest comment in the history of the Heidelblog!

  3. I grew up in South America where Christmas is a family get-together time and the occasion for gifts is Jan. 6. Children are taught that on that night the Magi will be journeying to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus. Children leave hay and water out for the camels and in the morning the water and hay are gone and there are presents in their place, which the smallest children believe the Wise Men have left them. This is a vastly superior way to celebrate the coming of the Christ-child, and I wish we could adopt this here. This links Christmas directly to Jesus’s coming in a way that Santa never can. A large shopping center in Buenos Aires, owned by a devoutly Catholic family, each year has guys dressed up like the Wise Men come (along with real camels) and children can speak to them, as here they would have Santa in the Mall.

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