Santa Claus is public enemy number one to hardcore Christian groups as Santa Claus has become the symbol of Christmas to children all over the world which would replace Jesus as the main character in the Christmas celebration. Santa Claus derives from a real St. Nicholas who was known for giving toys to orphan and needy children. As the legend of St. Nicholas grew he began to be known as Father Christmas and the endearing symbol of the Christmas season. As his character changed and evolved he soon became a heavy set man with a white beard and wearing a red and white suit. Santa Claus, it is estimated, is the single most recognizable character in the entire world from a pool of characters that are real and those that are pure fiction. Nearly everyone knows who Santa Claus is and children all over the world look forward to his visit every Christmas eve. This, of course, has nothing to do with what the Christian community would call the real meaning of Christmas and can have a tendency to cause devoted Christians to become very angry.
Another common symbol that is very popular at Christmas and has nothing to do with the story of the birth of Jesus is the Christmas tree. It is commonly accepted that the Christmas tree got its origins in pre-Medieval Germany when the Germanic tribes were getting converted to Christianity. Some missionaries would use the evergreen tree as a symbol of the Holy Trinity and soon that evergreen tree became associated with the Christian celebrations that started to flourish in Germany. For many centuries the history of the Christmas tree is lost until the lat 1500’s when it started showing up again during Christmas celebrations in Germany being decorated with fruits and nuts. It was not long before the nobility all over Europe started having Christmas trees in their castles and it was the British who started to use Christmas trees in homes throughout the country. The tradition was brought to America where it took off to become one of the most recognizable symbols of the season.
A secular Xmas may not include the story of the birth of Jesus but it does believe in good will towards your fellow man and charity as well as forgiveness. Even if secular celebrations of Xmas do not include the birth of Jesus, as long as they include the message of the teachings of Jesus, aren’t they close enough?