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Santa Kneeling At Baby Jesus

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I was interested in getting the forum's opinion on this, as I have seen this image quite often this year in ornaments and various holiday decorations.







While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.

I suppose part of my dislike is rooted in my feelings towards Santa Claus in general. I don't like how the commercialized figments of an Advertising Executive from Coca-Cola's imagination has replaced the spiritual figures of St. Nicholas and St. Basil, and emphasizes the material rather than eternal associations with Christmas. I don't like how American culture mixes the true Christian meaning of Christmas with Santa Claus ("Santa knows that we're all God's children...let's give thanks to the Lord above for Santa Claus comes tonight!" Lyrics to "Here comes Santa Claus") and basically the entire message of Santa Claus. (Be good or Santa won't bring you presents!)

So to me, the idea of a fictional character kneeling to Christ is a bit absurd.

What are your thoughts?
 

genesisone

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HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?

When my son was just about to turn three years old (he's 33 now), I asked him, "Jeff, who is Santa Claus?" His response: "Jesus!" I immediately saw the problem. We sat down right then and had a good father-son chat. I explained that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and that Santa Claus is a fun story that we tell at Christmas time - putting it into the same category as Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That ended any confusion in our house about the matter. We could enjoy the "fun" of Santa Claus but still be completely aware of what the season is really about. I know it worked because two or three years later, I heard him giving the same explanation to his younger sister!
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I used to be a fire-and-brimstone Baptist about these kinds of Christmas controversies, but as I got older and wiser I cooled off.  I used to badger people about these kinds of things, but then I began to see how off-base I was.  For example, my mother loves Santa Claus statues, dolls, figurines, etc etc.  She has quite a collection which she puts out for Christmas decorations.  I have always thought they were in poor taste, both because of the gaudy and crass commercialism of it an also the manipulative lying to children.  However, lets get real, Santa Claus is a real Saint in the Church.

So when folks like my mother put up Santa Claus, they are inadvertently honoring the Saints, and we honestly can't find any harm with that can we? The Spirit will guide them as they get deeper, just as it guided me towards tolerance.  Further, while I disagree with the whole Santa Claus for kids character who magically gives presents, we have an Orthodox alternative which is actually the origination of these myths in the first place!  The Communion of Saints means that Saint Nicholas is a real person, who can really interact with the Church Militant being of the Church Triumphant.  So while Protestant folks who teach the Santa myth to their children are also inadvertently discussing the Communion of the Saints because whether they acknowledge it or not, Saint Nicholas is real.

I've got my family to acknowledge Saint Nicholas icons alongside the more commercial versions, but the person depicted remains the same.  So really, we can use these mainstream Christmas images as a teachable moment and talking point to discuss the actual Santa, and what the Saints actually do :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 
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genesisone said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?

When my son was just about to turn three years old (he's 33 now), I asked him, "Jeff, who is Santa Claus?" His response: "Jesus!" I immediately saw the problem. We sat down right then and had a good father-son chat. I explained that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and that Santa Claus is a fun story that we tell at Christmas time - putting it into the same category as Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That ended any confusion in our house about the matter. We could enjoy the "fun" of Santa Claus but still be completely aware of what the season is really about. I know it worked because two or three years later, I heard him giving the same explanation to his younger sister!
I like how you handled that with your son. I will have to keep that in mind when I have kids some day. (God willing!)

It's impossible to live in the US and ignore the presence of Santa Claus, as he is *everywhere* from November to January.

This is the first year I am decorating my home for Christmas, and I have made a conscious effort NOT to include Santa in my decorating. It's not as easy as one might think!

What frustrates me even more is when you perform a search on "St. Nicholas", and the only thing that comes up are images of Santa Claus!  ::)
 
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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I used to be a fire-and-brimstone Baptist about these kinds of Christmas controversies, but as I got older and wiser I cooled off.  I used to badger people about these kinds of things, but then I began to see how off-base I was.  For example, my mother loves Santa Claus statues, dolls, figurines, etc etc.  She has quite a collection which she puts out for Christmas decorations.  I have always thought they were in poor taste, both because of the gaudy and crass commercialism of it an also the manipulative lying to children.  However, lets get real, Santa Claus is a real Saint in the Church.

So when folks like my mother put up Santa Claus, they are inadvertently honoring the Saints, and we honestly can't find any harm with that can we? The Spirit will guide them as they get deeper, just as it guided me towards tolerance.  Further, while I disagree with the whole Santa Claus for kids character who magically gives presents, we have an Orthodox alternative which is actually the origination of these myths in the first place!  The Communion of Saints means that Saint Nicholas is a real person, who can really interact with the Church Militant being of the Church Triumphant.  So while Protestant folks who teach the Santa myth to their children are also inadvertently discussing the Communion of the Saints because whether they acknowledge it or not, Saint Nicholas is real.

I've got my family to acknowledge Saint Nicholas icons alongside the more commercial versions, but the person depicted remains the same.  So really, we can use these mainstream Christmas images as a teachable moment and talking point to discuss the actual Santa, and what the Saints actually do :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's the problem, Santa Claus ISN'T a saint in the Church. There is no "Santa Claus" day on the Church calendar.

Santa Claus is a mixture of the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and the Dutch Sinterklass.

I'm not suggesting that people go around condemning anyone who has a Santa Claus decoration in their house, I was just interested in people's opinions regarding this particular image of him.
 

bogdan

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I think it makes for a pithy commentary. I like the idea.

However it seems this image has become a parody of itself, packaged and sold along with the other Christmas kitsch. (But it's okay, because it's our kitsch.)

So, +10 points for effort but -100 for the outcome.
 

montalo

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i like it

shows that the materialistic side of the day should be secondary to the Nativity of the Lord, by having the Santa kneel down to our Lord.
 

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genesisone said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?
LOL! I needed a good laugh today.
 

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HandmaidenofGod said:
That's the problem, Santa Claus ISN'T a saint in the Church. There is no "Santa Claus" day on the Church calendar.

Santa Claus is a mixture of the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and the Dutch Sinterklass.
Isn't Santa Claus the good Saint Nicholas of Myra? True, a lot of the popular legends and traditions associated with Santa are composites of several pagan and Christian traditions and figures, however at the core is not the individual person the one and same?



stay blessed,
habte selassie
 
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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HandmaidenofGod said:
That's the problem, Santa Claus ISN'T a saint in the Church. There is no "Santa Claus" day on the Church calendar.

Santa Claus is a mixture of the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and the Dutch Sinterklass.
Isn't Santa Claus the good Saint Nicholas of Myra? True, a lot of the popular legends and traditions associated with Santa are composites of several pagan and Christian traditions and figures, however at the core is not the individual person the one and same?



stay blessed,
habte selassie
No.

One was a real individual who served as a Bishop in Turkey. He defended the faith, served Christ and His flock, and was known for charitable good works.

The other, is a fictional character who lives in the North Pole, uses a flying sleigh with 8 tiny reindeer to get around, and can magically discern the behavioral patterns of all the children in the world and deliver them presents. Although generous in giving gifts to children, nowhere in his mythology is Christ mentioned.

I fail to see the similarities between the two.
 

That person

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If you're gonna include Jesus and Santa in the same display, this is the way to go:

Sorry, couldn't resist. ;)
 

biro

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Well, St. Nicholas' Day is tomorrow (for the New Calendar folks), so it's a golden opportunity to introduce kids who are old enough, to the story of the real Bishop of Myra.  :angel:
 
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In reading another blog on a completely unrelated topic (it was a recipe for Christmas cookies), the author brought up why she didn't like Santa Claus:

It all started years ago when I was working at a group home with teenage foster and probation kids in South Central Los Angeles. I know, the white girl from the farm, in South Central.

I loved it.

I was able to see these kids as more than just Gang Members with horrible parents, but human children with potential, talent, hearts and brains. Being raised by grown-up damaged children.

It changed me.

I was teased, laughed at, listen to, and trusted.

I’ve posted so many serious posts lately, I’m no going to go into great detail about that first year, the first christmas. The kids who, at 16 years old, received their first Christmas presents of their lives, or how few parents came to our “Holiday Party.”

But I will tell you this. Nearly every kid had a story about thinking he was bad because Santa didn’t bring him presents. After all, that’s the story, right? “Santa brings presents to good boys and girls. Bad kids don’t get any.” Or knowing that Santa wasn’t real because the Christmas after he turned 5 he sat in the living room, all alone on Christmas morning with no presents because Mom was on a bender and never came home.

This probably doesn’t apply to you. You will probably never have a Christmas when your kids don’t have presents. Hopefully.

But this year, more kids than ever won’t have presents.

And I would never want ANY kid to think that the reason he didn’t get presents was because he’s bad.

We don’t need this.
source

I had never really thought of that before, and its a completely valid point. I mean, life is hard enough as it is, you don't need to go through life thinking you're a horrible child because Santa doesn't bring you presents.

This just reinforces my existing belief that Santa is bad news.
 

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HandmaidenofGod said:
I had never really thought of that before, and its a completely valid point. I mean, life is hard enough as it is, you don't need to go through life thinking you're a horrible child because Santa doesn't bring you presents.

This just reinforces my existing belief that Santa is bad news.
HandmaidenofGod said:
Santa Claus is a mixture of the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and the Dutch Sinterklass.
The American kids should be happy they get nothing. Dutch kids apparently get spanked by Black Pete when they are on the naughty list.

In seriousness, I never thought about that situation before. Very sad.  :-\
 

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bogdan said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
I had never really thought of that before, and its a completely valid point. I mean, life is hard enough as it is, you don't need to go through life thinking you're a horrible child because Santa doesn't bring you presents.

This just reinforces my existing belief that Santa is bad news.
HandmaidenofGod said:
Santa Claus is a mixture of the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and the Dutch Sinterklass.
The American kids should be happy they get nothing. Dutch kids apparently get spanked by Black Pete when they are on the naughty list.

In seriousness, I never thought about that situation before. Very sad.  :-\
the french have out too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A8re_Fouettard

(wiki link to Père Fouettard)
 

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Marat said:
genesisone said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?
LOL! I needed a good laugh today.
I am almost certain I have seen that somewhere.
 

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I also think it's silly and absurd. In other cultures Santa Claus is a vaguely religious and mystical figure (in some contexts) but in America he's come to represent capitalism or a very secular giving spirit.

^ I feel like I've seen easter bunny/Jesus crossovers too...  ???
 

LizaSymonenko

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Agabus said:
Marat said:
genesisone said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?
LOL! I needed a good laugh today.
I am almost certain I have seen that somewhere.
He didn't get a chance to stare long....



 

genesisone

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LizaSymonenko said:
Agabus said:
Marat said:
genesisone said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?
LOL! I needed a good laugh today.
I am almost certain I have seen that somewhere.
He didn't get a chance to stare long....

The power of the Resurrection destroys pagan faith! I could go for that one  :D!
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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LizaSymonenko said:
Agabus said:
Marat said:
genesisone said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
While I can appreciate the sentiment the artist is trying to convey, I personally don't like it.
I will agree with you. At best, it adds to confusion. What's next, the Easter bunny staring in amazement at the empty tomb ??? :eek: ?
LOL! I needed a good laugh today.
I am almost certain I have seen that somewhere.
He didn't get a chance to stare long....


I love it!  ;D


Selam
 

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there is a story that the holy family was received in an inn by a woman.. her husband was a bad man and he didn't knew or didn`t accept to host them.. he found them in the inn and he was about to hit his wife or Jesus and his hand fell down and Jesus miraculously healed it.. that was his first miracle.. that converted the man and since than he visits little kids and gives them gifts on Christmas :)
 

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Azul said:
there is a story that the holy family was received in an inn by a woman.. her husband was a bad man and he didn't knew or didn`t accept to host them.. he found them in the inn and he was about to hit his wife or Jesus and his hand fell down and Jesus miraculously healed it.. that was his first miracle.. that converted the man and since than he visits little kids and gives them gifts on Christmas :)
Tell him thanks for the ham I got today! :)
 

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HandmaidenofGod said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HandmaidenofGod said:
That's the problem, Santa Claus ISN'T a saint in the Church. There is no "Santa Claus" day on the Church calendar.

Santa Claus is a mixture of the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and the Dutch Sinterklass.
Isn't Santa Claus the good Saint Nicholas of Myra? True, a lot of the popular legends and traditions associated with Santa are composites of several pagan and Christian traditions and figures, however at the core is not the individual person the one and same?



stay blessed,
habte selassie
No.

One was a real individual who served as a Bishop in Turkey. He defended the faith, served Christ and His flock, and was known for charitable good works.

The other, is a fictional character who lives in the North Pole, uses a flying sleigh with 8 tiny reindeer to get around, and can magically discern the behavioral patterns of all the children in the world and deliver them presents. Although generous in giving gifts to children, nowhere in his mythology is Christ mentioned.

I fail to see the similarities between the two.
After the Lord returns, rest assured that Saint Nicholas will deal with the dark powers of marketing who twisted and tortured him into a North Pole dwelling red suited elf. There's lots of room in the river of fire.
 

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Its weird. This year I noticed all the weird sleezy Santa songs with lyrics as if someone were seducing Santa (I don't know how they go). It was really creepy on one level since Santa is, however tenuous, based on a real life priest. It was sad on another level that people are now so unaware of that that they will sing such tripe.
 

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Jason.Wike said:
Its weird. This year I noticed all the weird sleezy Santa songs with lyrics as if someone were seducing Santa (I don't know how they go). It was really creepy on one level since Santa is, however tenuous, based on a real life priest. It was sad on another level that people are now so unaware of that that they will sing such tripe.
It isn't they are unaware, they just don't care anymore.
 

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Jason.Wike said:
Its weird. This year I noticed all the weird sleezy Santa songs with lyrics as if someone were seducing Santa (I don't know how they go). It was really creepy on one level since Santa is, however tenuous, based on a real life priest. It was sad on another level that people are now so unaware of that that they will sing such tripe.
Oh, they're on St. Nicholas' list, too.
 

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I understand the point of it, but it's so sweet and saccharine-ish and reminds me of something that certain friends of mine post all over facebook during Christmas.

Its weird. This year I noticed all the weird sleezy Santa songs with lyrics as if someone were seducing Santa (I don't know how they go). It was really creepy on one level since Santa is, however tenuous, based on a real life priest. It was sad on another level that people are now so unaware of that that they will sing such tripe.
I know what you mean, I noticed it too. <_< To paraphrase from the show Outsourced, "It's so nice to know that my deeply held spiritual beliefs are being used as foreplay" (granted, he was Hindu, but it still applies here).
 
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