Christ or Santa Claus; Man, am I confused!

(This is a reposting of a SIH blog entry from a few years ago…)

Most of us know the basic history of Santa Claus…

Nicholas, a 17-year-old Catholic priest, became known for his generosity toward those that were in need (especially children).  Following his death the Catholic church granted him the status of sainthood.  As the Catholic church began to celebrate Christmas, they included St Nicholas in their celebration.

As time progressed, due to the influence of the reformation, the person of St Nicholas began to be changed into a variety of characters.  Different nations began to form their own description and name for this generous person.  St Nicholas’s new names ranged from Father Christmas, Christmas Man, Pere Noel and many others.  The name most commonly used in our country, Santa Claus, came from the Dutch version of St Nicholas, who was given the name, Sinterklaas.

In the early 1800s, most of the specific features of Santa Claus were first developed by two different publications; Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and Thomas Nast’s yearly drawings of Santa Claus in “Harper’s Weekly” magazine.

Finally in the early to mid 1900’s Coca Cola commercials were the first time Santa Claus was pictured with the all of his modern-day features.

During the years of this evolutionary process, Santa Claus became an inseparable part of the American holiday season.  The vast majority of homes in the US continue to include Santa Claus in their Christmas celebration.  According to an AP AOL News poll 85% of those polled believed in Santa Claus as a child.  Also, over 60% of homes with children believe that Santa Claus is “important” to their holiday celebration.   For an eye-opening look at the role of Santa in the American celebration of Christmas please go to the poll:

Christmas, which mankind has set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ, in today’s time seems to center more on Santa Claus than on the Lord Jesus Christ.  So what gives?  Could it be, that the world has chosen to replace Christ with Santa Claus?  Is Santa Claus the secular version of Christ? Let’s take a look and see what similarities Christ and Santa share…


To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. (Isa 40:25)


In our text, the Lord is making the point that He is clearly exalted above all creatures, great or small.  Although this is a true statement, many times man tries to find replacements for Christ.  One of those man-made replacements is Santa Claus.

Here is a quick comparison of Christ with Santa Claus:

  1. Comes in the Sky – Mark 14:62
  2. Has White Hair – Rev 1:14
  3. Wears Red Clothing –  Isa 63:1-2
  4. The Time of His Coming Is Unknown – Matt 24:43-44
  5. Knows All The Actions Of Humans – Hebs 4:13
  6. Can Be Present Everywhere – Jer 23:23-24
  7. Will Not Die – Rev 1:8
  8. Rewards Good / Evil  –  Rev 22:12, Rom 14:12 … Santa leaves gifts or coal
  9. Loves Little Children – Mark 10:14
  10. Described as Christ child – Luke 2:11-12…. Kris Kringle means “Christ Child”
  11. Says Ho Ho – Zech 2:6
  12. Answers requests made to Him – Matthew 7:7
  13. Belief in Him is necessary for gifts to be received – Hebs 11:6
  14. We Look forward to His coming – Titus 2:13

Need I say more?


As we celebrate this Christmas season, at the least, we need to be sure that our children understand the true meaning of Christmas.  We can all do this by emphasizing the role of Christ and minimizing the role of Santa Claus.

For some of us, we may decide to totally exclude Santa from our holiday celebration and center all of our attention on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  After all, isn’t that what He really deserves?

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isa 42:8)


About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD, SETTLED IN HEAVEN and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Christ or Santa Claus; Man, am I confused!

  1. Wendy says:

    Awesome post. As a believer, I got harassed every year over my love of the Santa by other “church people”. Some of them saw him as the Pagan evil that would take away from Jesus.

    My dad told us as kids that Santa had been a real person, and that he embodied the Spirit of Giving which is why he always came at Christmas. Jesus is the ultimate Gift, and the ultimate Giver. Santa was just following Jesus example.

    I get a kick every year to be the Santa at my house, and celebrate Christ.

  2. kanzensakura says:

    Like most kids, I was raised with Santa but….I was also raised with Jesus. Before the tree went up, our nativity set was placed with great reverence on the coffee table amid fresh greens and candles. We all had parts in the Christmas pageant and participated. Christmas eve we went went to Church service. Although I made a list for Santa, I knew what was the most important part of Christmas. My mother tells of how when I was about 6, I was taken to see Santa. He beams down at me and ho ho ho’s..what’s your name little girl? Mama says I just kind of looked up at him and said, You’re supposed to know who I am! Jesus knows who I am…..I was quickly given a candy cane and rushed off before I became disruptive to the rest of the little folk waiting for their turn. And that is just how it was and still is!

  3. Pingback: Christ or Santa Claus; Man, am I confused! | HUMPTY DUMPTY MURAL MAGIC

  4. kamsiasuzu says:

    This was eye opening! 👏👏 never ever noticed the similarities. But of course Jesus is the reason for the season!

  5. As an American, my Mom raised us with Santa…however, he Served and Praised Baby Jesus 😉
    We made our requests to Santa sometimes, but knew he had to go and get his “list” from Baby Jesus.
    Also, the reason he delivered gifts and all was because God was a Baby 🙂
    Also because Santa demonstrated to us how we too are to be kind, generous, giving, and put others before ourselves as Jesus asks.

    To this day, Santa exists. I can recall “seeing” him as a child!!! Lol!!!
    But we always knew the Reason for Christmas, and that Santa was another Saint as so many others that have gone before us 😉

    Merry Christmas!!!

  6. hrh7 says:

    This is wonderful, that you made the time to compile this list.

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