Many people reading this might be asking, “where is the latest mortgage underwriting topic?”   Since it is Christmas I am asking for a favor to take a blog-cation to share a Christmas thought I have had this year.   The topic I have been thinking about this Christmas season is, should we reconsider Santa?

Before I lose you, I am not writing a “war on Christmas” or suggesting giving Santa the boot.  But I do have thoughts on how we can reshape the current version of Santa.  A very popular trend of super hero movies is to provide origin movies explaining how the characters were formed and their first days as super hero.  Many of these movies will either show where a character picked up a signature move, or some distinguishing characteristic.  But to set up my thought about changing Santa here are the basics of where this character came from.

The Santa Claus Origin Story

The unconfirmed story of Santa Claus goes back to a story dating back around 300 A.D. with a bishop (or a monk in some stories) named Nicolas.  St. Nicolas served the church and would use his wealth, that received because his parents died of a plague very early in his life, to help the poor and destitute.

One of the more well known stories is how he helped save three girls from slavery due to their extreme poverty.  Back in the fourth century without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. Thus a poor man’s daughters, without dowries were destined to be sold into slavery.  Mysteriously, on three separate occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home providing the needed dowries.  The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.

We are all Santa

Let me propose this.  Instead of telling kids there is a single magic person that can travel the world and make almost anything and leave it under your Christmas tree.  Let’s go back to the origin story of Santa to keep promoting the spirit of Santa and what he represents.

To remind everyone what the origin story of Santa contained:

  1. He gave to people what they truly needed
  2. He gave to them in secrecy

So how do you do this today?  Consider the individual and what the person truly needs.  This requires knowing them and their heart.  Yes, this take time and effort.  Sorry, not sorry.  Provide them that gift, but on the card don’t take credit.  It will just say “From Santa”.  Provide it in secret.  The fun part will be hearing about the gift from the receiver.  Listen to how by taking the time to listen and know them, you were able to find something they truly need and treasure.  There is something very special about receiving something that someone took the time to know you, and what you needed.  Keep in mind gifts can be an item, a service, or just your time, we are not talking about spending the most money!

In summary

With this new tradition when our young children ask about Santa while talking to Mom, Dad, Auntie, or Grandpa their response can be “I am Santa”.  This way the kids will still have no idea who gave them a certain gift with a card saying this was from Santa.  The most important part will be teaching them that YOU are Santa as well.  This way we can teach them from a very young age to have fun with the Santa character, but to understand that St Nicholas was just another person who had problems, joy’s, defeats, and many of the same up’s and downs in his life as we do today.  But he choose to think about others needs and experience the joy of giving, and hundreds of years later we still talk about that example of generosity.