I had an interesting conversation with my son about Saint Nicholas / Santa Claus last week.
He’s beginning to realize that something’s up, that the culturally driven Jingle Bells hype doesn’t quite match his emerging map of reality. So he’s asking questions. And as he learns the right questions to ask I’m answering honestly.
Well, in differentiating between fact and fiction we’ve once again revisited the original Santa story, of Nicholas of Myra, from fourth century Asia Minor. The disciple who gave in secret, so that the glory would be given to God.
He never had much time for this story when he was younger, fixated on north poles and reindeer as he was. Now he’s remembering that I’ve always talked of a far more ancient story. One that wasn’t so magical on one level, but far more magical on another. It’s that giving is the true magic. It’s magic to see him starting to grasp this.