December 6

Written by Bill Grandi on December 6th, 2023

When I was a young ‘un growing up, I will admit (now) that I looked forward to Christmas. I’d like to be spiritual and say that it was because of the focus on the birth of Christ, or I truly believed it was more blessed to give than to receive, but would not be telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I had no idea how cash-strapped my parents were; I just know it was a magical time of the year.

Part of that magic (before I knew better) was SC. No…not Scott Calvin. Santa Claus. The big guy. Part of Christmas Eve in the young Grandi household was watching an animated version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (15 minutes) followed by a 15 minute retelling of the birth of Jesus.  Later it was the Peanuts cartoon with Linus’ famous rendition of the Luke 2. I know…I’m really telling my age. 🙂

Anyway, SC was part of the magic. Stories abound in my head of scenes from my childhood of the ghost of Christmas past. SC is intriguing though. Little did I know, as a child, of the history and legacy of his coming to be. The person we know as Saint Nicholas (Saint Nick) was born around AD 270 to a wealthy Grecian family.  Tragically, his parents died when he was a boy, and he lived with an uncle to loved him and taught him to follow God. When he was a young man, legend says that he heard of 3 sisters who didn’t have a dowry for marriage and would soon be destitute. Wanting to follow Jesus’ teaching of helping those in need, he took his inheritance and gave each sister a bag of gold coins. Over the years he gave the rest of his money away feeding the poor and caring for others. Down through time he has been honored for his generosity and held up as a standard for giving.

Sadly, many today want to rail against the commercialization of Christmas (with some merit I might add) and SC, the symbol of that commercialization. Rather than rail, let’s refocus on what he represents-giving, and in a sense, the spirit found in Matthew 25:24-40. (Please take a moment to look it up).

It is much better to give than to receive, especially when it is for and to someone less fortunate.


Again, please let me remind you to check out my other blog (link to the right of this post) and subscribe for totally different content than this daily devotion. Thanks.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Throwing Santa out of the equation at Christmas skews the entire thing, Bill. We should be teaching our children/grandchildren about the real St. Nicholas and his legacy of giving. It is more blessed to give than receive.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      For years, I’m ashamed to say, I was one of those people. I missed an important lesson to teach my own children. I agree with you. Taught correctly it can be a good lesson.

  2. gail says:

    I have read some stories about
    St Nicholas, and it’s a wonderful story. I believe as christians we do need to always think about Jesus and His christmas story, and we should never take that for granted. Understanding why Jesus came down to earth, and that it was the start of Jesus’s earthly mission is clearly a remarkable story that needs to be revered. I also think that we can use Chirstmas as a learing tool, for giving, teaching how to have a gracious heart, helping one another, seeking out those that need a hand, a time for forgivness and grace, and all of those things tie back into exactly who Jesus was, is, and will always be.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Hi Gail! May I add an AMEN to say “all the above is correct”? 🙂 What a difference a new attitude would make for all we come in contact with.

  3. Ryan S says:

    I like the idea of teaching about the historical “Santa”. We chose as parents not to do the magical Santa of the North Pole. We enjoyed the Christmas movies, the decorations, the stockings, and the joy of giving and receiving. Especially the greatest gift of all, Jesus.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      We chose to do the same Ryan. My mother-in-law went all in so it was unavoidable but we felt our responsibility was to teach the “other” story with greater emphasis.

  4. Ed says:

    Although I don’t believe in the myth of a Santa Clause, I still believe in the spirit that the story conveys.. a man who delivers gifts of cheer to everyone. Also, just like Easter and other Christian holidays, I love the fact that we do celebrate this time of year, especially with a focus on The King! It’s really the time of year of the Hope and the Glory of God! What an amazing thing that God did.. the Child that showed us what it was like to be a true King! Not by way of an iron hand, but with a true love and reverance of God and the children of God!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You said what it is all about Ed: focusing on The King. If we can always keep that in the forefront, we can counter the culture’s influence.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Such a beautiful story! I love how Saint Nicholas’ story ties in with the gifts the magi brought to Jesus. This is such a blessed time of year!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m there with you on that Cheryl. I just listened to a podcast yesterday by James Emery White that really put some things into perspective with Santa Claus and the whole Christmas thing. He told the story of Saint Nicholas.