Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa vs. St. Nick

 Every year, around December 6 (the Feast of St. Nicholas), a friendly dispute resurfaces in our family over who should get more airtime this Advent -- Santa or St. Nick.  It's one of those epic contests, like between the T-Rex and the velociraptor or between the Army and Navy football teams.  Who will win this time? 

My husband is on Santa's side.  Santa is full of fun and magic, toys and good cheer.  Everybody knows and loves him, argues my husband.  And besides, maybe this year our threats of coal in the stockings will actually result in better behavior from the kids, he hopes. 

In my opinion, St. Nick is way cooler.  Most importantly, he actually existed as a bishop from the 4th century.  When he gave gold coins to poor families, he saved their daughters from being sold into slavery and provided them with enough money for a dowry.  Definitely, a pro-marriage guy.  But all this history makes my husband start to yawn.

It could be that Santa and St. Nick aren't so different after all.  Even though one wears a bishop's mitre and the other wears a fuzzy red hat, they can both inspire a spirit of generosity and giving.  If the children learn that lesson, then I guess my husband and I both win.

1 comment:

  1. Pro-Life, Pro-Vouchers, and Pro-Santa! Although I concur with my esteemed colleagues in the "Saint Nicholas" camp that the truth ought to be imparted to our kids, I differ perhaps in how to transmit the truth and adhere to the time tested notion of delivering information in an "age appropriate" manner. What, after all, is a fairy tale but a vehicle for delivering truths to our kids in ways they can readily digest? Unless the reading of every fairy tale to our kids is prefaced with a parental disclaimer as to their doubtful historical veracity I see little difference between telling my 3 year old that she, too, is a princess (after seeing 'Barbie's Princess and the Pauper' for the umpteenth time) and holding off on telling her the "adult truth" about the tooth fairy, Leprechauns, or Santa Claus. Lest there is evidence that I am forever spoiling my child by allowing her to call herself a princess, or talk into a pretend phone, or even to have an imaginary friend, I think its probably okay to let her imagination soar.