‘Santa’ means saint, and saints are real

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.

Fr. Thomas Petri and Dr. Chad Pecknold recently had an exchange on Twitter that made me think of this:


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: