Despite their denials, there really is a Santa Clause.
Converts from Protestantism are not the only ones who have trouble with traditional, non-liturgical, popular-pious customs that have come down to us from a variety of European traditions: Many Catholics who have been deeply influenced by American Evangelical Protestant prejudice, are often just as narrow-minded and rigid. Especially when it comes to devotions to the saints and the Blessed Virgin -and/or holiday celebrations connected to such. It always gets worse during the holiday season. For your instruction, I composed a few Bible-banger rules that smack of Protestantism, Calvinism, Amish/Hutteriteism, Pentecostalism, Steubenvilleism, and so on. I'm sorry - I can't stand Protestant stuff and the contaminating effects it has had on Catholicism. Anyway.
Bible banger rules:
- Don't celebrate anything in Advent.
- Do not put up Christmas decor or lights before Christmas eve.
- You don't have to fast or abstain on Christmas Eve - even if it falls on a Friday.
- Never say, Happy Holidays - ever! In Advent wish someone a holy Advent.
- No Christmas before Christmas.
- Santa is evil - he's a witch.
- St. Nicholas is not Santa.
- Our Lady gave birth to the Infant Jesus just like every other woman gives birth.
- You must be able to put up Nativity scenes in public places such as the front lawn of the White House.
- Secular businesses and government agencies must wish everyone a Merry Christmas - even during Advent.
- Oh! Oh! If you must have a Santa he can only be adoring the Infant Jesus in the manger.
Art: Miracle of St. Nicholas. The saint is depicted rescuing sailors at sea. Such iconography of the saint contributed to the legend that Santa (saint) flies through the air. It's a very Catholic theme, connected with mystical charismata (gifts) such as levitation, bilocation, and so on. Similarly, in the Acts of the Apostles, the apostle Philip was caught up by the Spirit and carried to the Ethiopian to instruct and give him baptism. One might explain to children how nothing is impossible for God, and that St. Nicholas is a wonderworker who obtains graces (gifts) from God. Be creative - have a drink - be totally Catholic.