As a kid, I used think Santa Claus was real. A fat white jolly old man with a large bushy beard snuck down the chimney to give toys to boys and girls. Some presents they wanted, some not. A cup of cold milk & cookies left on the table because of course who wouldn't be hungry after delivering all of those toys?
Although I never got a lot of presents, in fact, most homemade, I thought Santa existed until second grade. Santa bringing gifts to people for good behavior seemed like a lovely story. "If you're good, Santa might bring you that toy you want." Because of course, Santa is manipulative like that. Stockings are full of candy and those small micro-machine cars that used to be popular. Having hot chocolate the night before pondering if we'd been good enough for that specific present we wanted.
After going to bed on Christmas Eve, most kids gitty with anxiety as they anticipate their favorite presents sitting beneath the Christmas tree. Some kids could hardly sleep. Some even peek out their door every so often to the sound of mom politely shouting; "go back to bed. Santa hasn't come yet." So, they sigh & lie back in bed. Arms folded across their stomach as they drift off to sleep.
While peeking out an eye, kids see the sun barely hiding behind a cloud as snow falls. They throw off their covers, wipe the sleep from their eyes and race to the Christmas tree. Some presents beneath the tree please them & they even shout with joy. And then, there's always that kid whose parents save the best present for last. They bring in the gift the kid has been dying for all year! "Look what Santa left in the garage!"
You grow out of Santa' existence. But even if he did exist, he's partial to rich kids. So for kids who exhibit behavior exceeding that of wealthy kids, they still don't get expensive gifts, which is the antithesis of doing what's right in anticipation for gifts. It's a shaft deal.
But, with Jesus, the reason for the season for Christians, we see something different. Pastors, evangelists, or Christian laypersons explain the Gospel & when you accept Jesus as the Son of God & the savior, you receive the same gift as the wealthiest person: eternal life, of which no man can take.
Unlike with Santa, Jesus doesn't ask if you've been naughty or nice. The worse off a person is, the more he appreciates the gift of salvation. John 3:16; Romans 6:23 Of course, Santa Claus makes people feel good around this time of year, but Jesus Christ is the truth. He's real. He died, was buried & rose from the dead on the third day. This time of year, Christians celebrate the only gift that counts is the Father's gift to humanity, Jesus Christ.
Unlike with Santa, Jesus Christ demonstrably existed & his life is well documented.
Most Relevant Verses
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Christ saves sinners, who don't deserve salvation. By the way, it's the people who are strung out and lives are in shambles who receive Christ the most. The biggest Christmas present you can give others besides feeding the poor and doing God's work is to share the Gospel with all you see.
Merry Christmas & a prosperous happy New Year!