Do go and read the whole thing here, if you can.
To us, Santa is a type of John the Baptist, announcing the coming of the Messiah. With the angels, his magical Christmas eve flight sings “Glory to God in the highest!” He’s a holy man in love with Our Lord and filled with the magic and mystery of the Nativity – a mystery a thousand times more fantastic than an old man who makes toys at the North Pole and delivers them around the world.
Santa Claus has a treasured place in the hearts and imaginations of the Walker children.
So imagine how … passionate shall we say … I was when I recently found myself defending Santa Claus to one of my more traditional Catholic friends. He didn’t like the idea of “lying” to children. Santa distracts from Christ he said, and he just couldn’t square him with his strict interpretation of St. Thomas.
But as Catholics engaged in this battle to restore our dying culture, as pro-lifers seeking to reaffirm the dignity and infinite value of this mysterious thing we call human life, I say we desperately need Santa Claus - the ambassador from fairyland.
In old-fashioned gratitude, we owe St. Nicholas a bit more than simply brushing him off as a superstitious lie to children or as a materialistic construct of our stuff-obsessed culture.
In this age of skepticism, scientism and string theory, we need Santa Claus more than ever. We need childlike faith and wonder on at least one magical, cold morning. [...]
In abandoning fairyland we’ve abandoned sanity and we’ve largely abandoned God.
But for one day every year the silvery wonder of Christmas is shunned only by the most hardened atheists – poor creatures.
On that one morning, the hardened hearts of many melt and the elfin ambassador rides in with glorious news of the Messiah’s birth.
Santa Claus is real. He lived and still lives as our brother in Christ, and anyone who tells a child otherwise is guilty of a grave injustice and an offense against truth.
For one day at least out of 365, there is a crack in our cultural armor of skepticism and for that one day, this culture that has abandoned God and defiantly says to Him, “I will not believe” admits that it wants to believe.
We live in a world in which five-year-olds stop wanting to be fairy princesses and start worrying about whether they're "hot" enough to attract boys. We live in a world in which those same five-year-olds may already have begun receiving sex education in public schools (depending on where you live). We live in a world which constantly pushes children to abandon childhood in favor of adulthood, which tries to sell children on adult clothing styles, technologies, entertainment choices, and the like. We live in a world in which the greatest pressure on children to stop acting like children and pretend to be miniature grown-ups comes from their own peers, who mercilessly ridicule any child who clings to childish pretend play or childlike behaviors--at ages when children really should be children. In his Apologia por Vita Sua, John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote of his early religious thoughts that one which remained prominent enough to record was his having read the Arabian Nights and wishing they were true; we live in an age that laughs at fairy stories and cynically remakes them to reflect the skepticism and pragmatism of our culture. And the children hear our laughter, and are embarrassed at having wished to be a prince or princess or to fight dragons or fall magically and permanently in love--because that last, too, seems like a lie to children who grow up so horribly aware of broken homes and shattered families.
We need more magic in our lives, not less. We need more joyful pretending, not more empiricism. We need a little Christmas--and we need St. Nicholas to be a part of it.