Maybe it was the eggnog, but today I began to ponder the two major characters of Christmas in a way I never had.

There are so many similarities it’s so uncanny it could be no accident.
Both Santa & Jesus…
– are historical figures known for their generosity
– depend on our faith to make the season ‘magical’ and meaningful
– have white hair & a beard
– wear red
– will come as a thief in the night
– live in the North
– are carpenters by profession
– are ageless
– are givers of gifts
– omniscient
…but that’s about where the similarities end (even some of those are a stretch for St. Nick).

The following contrasting differences are really exciting to me:
– One puts presents (that he didn’t pay for) under a tree, the Other gave up everything and became the priceless gift upon the tree
– One comes bearing gifts to the good and moral while the Other comes giving Himself to the undeserving and immoral
– One expects your cookies and milk, but the Other desires something much more important – your heart
– One manufactures a materialistic love for this world while the Other inspires a delight in another world
– One says he sees you when you’re sleeping & awake, the Other actually does see & care about how much you rest
– One slips down the chimney (breaking & entering?) while the Other stands at the door knocking (a gentleman)
– Only one can sit on Santa’s lap at a time and he doesn’t know your name – but Jesus receives us all and knows our names
– One can make you chuckle, the Other offers true and lasting joy
– One tells us not to cry or pout while the Other asks us to cry to Him
– One sits on a throne of lies and stinks of beef and cheese* — the Other sits on the throne of the universe as Creator and Redeemer
– One rides the world in a night (the miracle of Christmas Eve), the Other lives in all places, all the time (and this isn’t even difficult for Him)

Let’s all be thankful that Santa is not our Lord & Savior.  I’m grateful for the Grace of God that has conquered the grave and my sin.  I’m not afraid of children celebrating Santa Claus – as long as parents will keep Christ in His proper place.  As long as the Truth is taught… there will never be any contest in the “Jesus vs. Santa” contest!

*Quote from Buddy, the Elf