From an author who recently wrote a book on St. Nicholas – “I don’t remember ever ‘believing in Santa’. I never found out Santa wasn’t real. There was never a conversation in which our parents ‘told us the truth’. Instead, something about how we celebrated Christmas in our home allowed me to hold the character of Santa in an amiable tension with the Christmas story.
When I tiptoed into the living room on Christmas mornings as a girl, some of our gifts under the tree were unwrapped, labeled with red tags in our parents’ handwriting. They didn’t explicitly say ‘from Santa’, but they also didn’t say ‘from Mom and Dad’ (those presents were wrapped in paper and clearly marked). When we gathered around the Christmas tree, we first read the nativity stories from Matthew and Luke and prayed. Then we opened gifts. The biggest, most exciting gifts—the unwrapped gifts—came first.
The message seemed clear to my young self: Mom and Dad wanted to give these special gifts to me without taking credit. Because they loved me. Santa was like code for that wonderful truth. So Santa and Jesus never felt at odds to me.”