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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

The Santa Question

Christmas is coming and so millions of children will ask their parents this question: Is Santa real? It’s time we had a solid answer to the question.

Welcome back to Best Christmas Ever! where we are exploring 28 ways to make this your best Christmas ever!

#10 is… The Santa Question. Santa is Real. Just not in the way the world has distorted him.

The modern-day Santa’s that inhabit shopping malls have their roots in the life and example of a Saint Nicolaus. Nicolaus was born to a wealthy family in the third century. When his parents died, he distributed their wealth to the poor, became a priest, and became legendary for his profound generosity and care for people.

Stories spread far and wide about his generosity. The most famous incident from his life is the night he dropped a small sack of gold coins through the window to the house of a family in desperate need. This provided dowries for three daughters who would have otherwise almost certainly ended up being slaves or prostitutes.

By that time, Nicolaus had become a bishop and the father woke when he heard the sack being dropped through the window. Looking outside he caught a glimpse of the red and gold robes of the Nicolaus who had hoped to remain anonymous.

The father told everyone he knew about Nicolaus’ generosity, and the beauty of anonymous giving was unleashed in the world. People everywhere began giving anonymously and the spirit and legend of Saint Nicolaus grew… and has continued to grow century after century… and lives on today!

Nicolaus is perhaps the inventor of anonymous giving. 1700 years after his death, his Spirit lives on as a confounding reminder of the obligation we have to those who live suffering on the brink of despair.

Is Santa real? Santa is most real not when we spoil our children with gifts, but when we teach them the spirit of Nicolaus by giving generosity to those most in need, bringing them a comfort and joy that we so often take for granted.

So, this Christmas, go out of your way to be the difference that makes all the difference for someone, somewhere, and together let’s bring a little hope, comfort, and joy to those who need it more than we may ever need anything.

The generosity of God is staggering. May it live in you and me, more and more with every passing day.

Matthew Kelly

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