Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dealing with Santa

As Christians our lives are supposed to be different from the world around us and at this time of year the difference is clear. We jumped straight from Halloween to Christmas in the stores. No I am no suggesting the crazy extremist position.

Once more the other day I heard someone point at Xmas and say they took the Christ out of Christmas and once more I had to point out that Xmas is a perfectly Christian abbreviation since Χριστός is the Greek word for Christ.

And Rather than telling children that there simply is no Santa. Perhaps it might be helpful to explain that Claus is an abbreviation for Nicholas, and that a long long time ago St. Nicholas was a person just like you and me, and then insert the story of the real St. Nicholas the Bishop whose feast day is today.

We should be people dedicated to the truth, but it should be given with love, as Pope Benedict XVI reminded us. From an American perspective I think of a short poem by Emily Dickinson.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —