The Light-Hearted Saint

As Advent begins and Christmas approaches, it’s worth reminding ourselves yet again that “Santa Claus” is a folk version of a possibly-real folk Christian saint: St. Nicholas, who was known for his charity and his love of children.

It’s also worth reminding ourselves that while our Puritan founders didn’t allow Christmas to be celebrated because of its alleged frivolity, the frivolous aspects of the holiday–like visits to Santa Claus–are among the most joyous parts of the feast.

And it is a feast. The Feast of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. A very serious holy day, true. But, at the same time, a feast to lighten the heaviest of hearts. Let us prepare our souls for the visit of the Light-Hearted Saint–and the Holy One for whom he stands. —J. Douglas Ousley

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