I was raised believing in Santa Claus. It absolutely infused a spirit of wonder into the Christmas season. But in growing up, I’ve come to think it was the wrong sort of wonder—a rootless sort of wonder that was one part magic and one part consumerism, both of which obscure Christ as the key mover of Christmastime.
When I was a child, my mother would have me leave my shoes outside on the porch the night before St. Nicholas’ Feast Day on December 6th. When I woke up, and went to check my shoes, they’d have chocolate and treats from St. Nicholas. Anyone else have this tradition?
— Fr. Thomas Petri, OP (@PetriOP) November 30, 2019
We put our shoes at Nativity, my grammar school, in the corridors for Saint Nicholas’s Feast Day. Dr. Pecknold responded as a part of that thread with what I think is a close to perfect approach toward raising children to experience the wonder of Advent and Christmastime, without the lie at the heart of our modern experience of it:
Our kids are taught “Santa” means saint, that saints are real, that St Nicholas can hear their prayers & that any gifts he may bring come from God through others — but the greatest gift of all is the gift God Himself in Jesus Christ which is why we celebrate so extravagantly.
— C.C. Pecknold (@ccpecknold) November 30, 2019