Posts Tagged ‘Santa Claus’


My wife and I decided very early in our marriage not inoculate our children beyond that which is legally required.  So, our boys were never vaccinated against Christmas.  I know, I know; so many parents, these days, do.  However, we have decided the benefits outweigh the risks.

So, although Santa Claus delivers presents to our house on Christmas Eve, like he does across the globe, he’s not some fat guy from the North Pole.  He’s a saint.  Saint Nicholas of Myra to be specific, a member of the Communion of Saints with all its mystery and power, of which one can become a part.

And though we exchange gifts on Christmas morning, we focus on the Real Gift that is Christmas:  The Christ Child, with all His splendor and glory.

Finally, we celebrate Christmas by going to Mass, as the name of the day implies.

Our pediatrician displayed concern when she first heard of the odd behavior of our youngest, who was, at the time, two-years-old.

“Do you want a sticker when you leave?” she asked at the end of his appointment.

“Can I have two, please?” he kindly requested.

“Two!  Why do you need two?” she sternly questioned.

“For my brutha,” he added, with the cutest two-year-old mispronunciation.

“Your brother?” she asked with a gasp.

My wife and I turned towards each other and exchanged glances.

“Yes, he’s always looking out for his big brother,” my wife softly interjected.

“WHAT?” the kind doctor added with disbelief.  “He’s two. Two-year-olds are supposed to be only  thinking about themselves … totally self-centered.”

Humbly, we lowered our gaze.  Of course, she’s our family doctor.  If anyone was aware of our beliefs and practices, it would be her.

When our oldest son turned nine this year, he already started to show the contagious effects our anti-modernist decisions.

He is constantly thinking of others; and this Christmas, he has become really good at wrapping presents — all of which are from him to other members of the family.

Just last week, he turned to me and suggested that he needed time to buy his little brother a gift.  As a Dad, I quickly became concerned.

“It’s kind of  pricey gift, Bud,” I said.  “Are you sure you want to spend that much?”

“Yes,” he replied.  You should have seen the look on my face when he told me that already saved enough money.

“You better be careful,” I warned.

“Careful?”  You see, he’s not yet aware that our decision as parents has made his immune system vulnerable to love and kindness.

“Yeah, it looks like you have caught the spirit of Christmas,” I added. “Like Saint Nicholas, you might turn into a Claus.

To which, he proudly smiled.  Yes, the benefits definitely outweigh the risks.

Have a merry Christmas and a joyous new year!


James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL! To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


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There’s been much to do about the recent poll which suggested that Santa needs a brand new brand.

Twenty-seven percent of those polled, in fact, suggested that there needs to be gender-neutral Santa in the mix — which may work well with the gender neutral moniker Kris Kringle.

As I tell my boys, we don’t really know much about Santa Claus, except that his real name is Nicholas; that he lived in Turkey in the 4th century; and today lives forever in Heaven.  No one has ever truly seen the venerated saint who today honors Jesus on Christmas Eve, interceding for people of goodwill by spreading joy and glad tidings too all.

All the stories we hear about the Santa Claus, I further explain, be it stories by Clement Clarke Moore, L. Frank Baum, or Rankin/Bass, are just that … stories — stories of who we think this secret gift-giver was and is.

One of the first true rebrandings of Santa Claus came in the 1600’s.

According to Christianity Today, Martin Luther replaced Saint Nicholas with the Christ Child, or, in German, Christkindl.  To commemorate this, Luther gave his children toys and honey cakes at Christmas.

And so, the tradition of rebranding Santa began … and continues on to this day.

The truth is that the image of Santa Claus has been changing ever since 4th century sailors from Italy brought the relics of a Middle Eastern saint named Nicholas back home with them to Europe.

Since, every culture has embraced a Yuletide gift-giver who looks and sounds like the people he — or she — visits.

Yes, SHE!

Throughout Italy, the home of Rome, arguably the epicenter of Christianity, the gift-giver to children on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany (Little Christmas or the 12th Day of Christmas) is a woman named Befana.

Ever suggest to a child that they were going to receive coal in their stocking for being bad?  Well, that comes straight from Befana’s playbook.

Sadly, if any Christmas gift-giver could use a 21st century rebranding, it may be Befana.

So, should Santa be rebranded?

Well, using centuries of tradition as a guide, every home should follow their heart during the holiday season, and introduce a spirit of service and giving into their homes with a gift-giver that not only matches their own culture, but also reflects the diversity of those bearing gifts on the very first Christmas.

This theme runs through my books “Kwanzaa Klaus” and “Klaus – The Gift-giver to All!



So, it seems to me, when it comes to the uproar about rebranding Santa Claus, there’s much to do about nothing.

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Kwanzaa KlausHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL! To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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For me, nothing is more intriguing than the transformation of  Nicholas of Myra, a humble man of means who became a saint and then evolved into the legendary Santa Claus.

His legend was catapulted into iconic status after the Troy Sentinel published “A Night Before Christmas” in 1823, giving America its first real glimpse at a jolly old elf named St. Nick.

It’s hard to believe that Saint Nicholas’ status could grow any larger.

Now, almost two hundred years later, comes a story of a father and son who explored the saintly legend of Nicholas, the international Yuletide gift-giver, and discovered so much more.

You see, it doesn’t matter if your family celebrates Christmas; or even if your family, like so many others, celebrates more than one holiday during the season.  As long as one holds the spirit of giving in one’s heart, be it during Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, there’s a gift-giver for YOU!

Soon, the father/son team unveil another well-guarded secret about the kindhearted figure is revealed.

Saint Nicholas not only delivers gifts worldwide but his appearance magically changes – albeit unknowingly, so that he looks and sounds identical to the people of that particular culture.

So, as he completes his nightly deliveries, he changes from Kris Kringle to Sheng Dan Lau Ren to Papa Noel to Chief Hobbythacco and back, depending on the region of the world he appears and reappears, earning the title:  KLAUS: THE GIFT-GIVER TO ALL!


James Dobkowski

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘TwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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