Did you know that Santa Claus was a real bloke? The word ‘Santa Claus’ comes from ‘Saint Nicholas’. St Nicholas was a real bloke who lived around 280AD. He was the local bishop in the city of Myra in Turkey. Tradition tells us that he was imprisoned by Emperor Diocletion for his faith. He was well known for his generosity, he often gave gifts of food and money to the poor – from his own money! He is most famous for saving three little girls from prostitution and slavery.
I suspect that Nicholas’ sacrificial generosity was motivated by God’s generosity to him. God sent his son Jesus as a baby in a manger to become the man Jesus who would die on the cross to pay the price for our sins. As a Christian, Nicholas believed that Jesus gave his life for him. Spurred on by this love, he was generous to others.
This Christmas, copy the real ‘Santa’: Celebrate what God has done for you and trust in Jesus. Don’t be shy about your faith. Be generous to those around you whether materially, emotionally, or spiritually. Give gifts to the poor. Invite someone who is alone to your home for a Christmas meal. Even better, dont limit this generosity to Christmas, do it all year round! In the words of Jesus himself,
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
“Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matt 10:8)
Have a Meaningful Christmas!