If someone were to suggest that Santa Claus is a god, a deity, someone to be worshipped, most would find the idea blasphemous. Most would find it silly.

       But, think about it. Webster defines a god as: "a being of more than human attributes or powers.

     Certainly the ability to slide down narrow chimneys and travel around the world in minutes, to know the names and needs of every child in the world and to be able to produce billions of gifts when needed, are superhuman abilities, aren't they?

     Aren't children taught to pray to Santa Claus? That is, don't they write him letters pleading to him for fill their needs?

              (I need a new bicycle. Will you find me a new Daddy? Help my little sister to get well for Christmas)

    To much of the populace Santa Claus is as well known in association with Christmas as is the Baby Jesus. His reputation has traveled to all corners of the world. There are few children in the U.S, who are not taught to believe in him.

     Santa Claus began his reign as the gift-bringing St. Nicholas of the German and Dutch settlers in North America.

    As St. Nicholas, he became famous as a result of poem attributed to Clark Moore, The Night before Christmas, published in 1823.

    We are able to trace today's Santa Claus to an origin prior to the 15th century, at which time he was known as Father Christmas, a minor figure in the mummers' plays of the mid-winter season, who was not as fat nor as jolly as Moore's elfin St. Nick. But by the 1890's he no longer was a sober, judgmental figure, but had melted and become more "jolly".  In the 1930s, with the aid of Coca Cola, he became the familiar Santa we know today.    
    To trace this Christmas hero even further back in history to his origin, let us list his bestknown attributes in order to recognize him under some other name. Here are the characteristics generally attributed to Santa Claus:

              he has a white beard.

              he is dressed in red.

              he loves children.

              he is associated with the giving of gifts.

              he is said to be able to travel around the world almost instantly as he brings gifts to every home.

             he is very old, perhaps even eternal.
      Okay, those are his attributes, now here are some clues as to his origins:

             1) His head and his hair were white as wool. (Rev. 1:1 4)

             2) And he was clothed with a venture dipped in blood. (Rev. 1 9:1 3)

            3) There were brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray 'Suffer little children, and forbid them not.' (Matt. 19:13-14) Don't these verses remind you of the children queuing up to see Santa Claus?
            4)  when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matt. 2:1)

            5) anyone who was born almost 2000 years ago certainly is old.

He's making a list and checking it twice.

He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice.

Santa Claus is coming to. town! (popular song)

         Doesn't that sound like the second coming of Jesus as portrayed by the fundamentalists? Isn't that something for us to think about?

        Actually the being whom we recognize as Santa Claus came into being thousands of years before Jesus. He is often called Pan, or Dionysius, the god of spring, the vine and budding trees. His celebration was held at various times of year, sometime between the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. Often it was held during the Saturnalia, the Roman feast of mid-winter. The Saturnalia involved the wildest debauchery, and was a festival worthy of Pan himself. It was a festival of merrymaking and exchanging gifts. Libanius, a Greek writer of the fourth century, gives an account of the celebration:

       "There is food everywhere, heavy rich food. And laughter. A positive urge to spend seizes on everyone, so that people who have taken pleasure in saving the whole year, now think it's a good idea to squander. The streets are full of people staggering under the load of gifts."

       This sounds exactly like our celebration of modern-day Christmas. Could it be that we are not remembering Jesus in the celebration of Christmas, but actually remembering Pan and celebrating the ancient Saturnalia?      Yes, the character behind the mythical Santa Claus is none other than the equally mythical JESUS!