Santa Claus and St. Nicholas

Everybody loves Santa Claus. He embodies holiday cheer, happiness, fun, and gifts—warm happy aspects of the Christmas season. How do Santa Claus and St. Nicholas differ?

Santa Claus belongs to childhood,
St. Nicholas models for all of life.

Santa Claus, was changed to the commercial Christmas message,
St. Nicholas told the story of Christ and peace, goodwill toward all—the hope-filled Christmas message.

Santa Claus encourages consumption,
St. Nicholas encourages compassion.

Santa Claus appears each year to be seen and heard for a short time,
St. Nicholas is part of the communion of saints, surrounding us always with prayer and example.

Santa Claus walked the Earth delivering presents,
St. Nicholas walked on Water to save those in need.

Santa Claus rides a sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer,
St. Nicholas worships Him Who was born in a cave and surrounded by the ox and ass.

Santa Claus, for some, replaces the Babe of Bethlehem,
St. Nicholas, for all, points to the Babe of Bethlehem.

Santa Claus is the “ecumenical saint”, loved by Christians and non-Christians alike,
St. Nicholas was present at the First Ecumenical Council, defending Christ against the impious and non-believers.

Santa Claus isn’t bad;
St. Nicholas is just better.

Adapted from J. Rosenthal & C. Myers