We broke the news to Christopher tonight. Santa Claus is dead.
Actually, we told him that several hundred years ago, a Christian pastor named Saint Nicholas lived in a small city in Turkey. He was a man who cared deeply for the poor. He was known for his compassion for people and for giving gifts to those in need. It was rumored that he would sneak into houses during the night to leave gifts for the people in their stockings. He would try to give his gifts in secret because he wanted to obey Jesus' instructions to help people without drawing attention to himself; but apparently he got caught a few times and people knew that he was helping those in need. When he died, the people respected him so much that every December near the anniversary of his death, they continued his tradition of giving gifts to the poor.
Today, when you receive a gift from Santa Claus, you are receiving something from someone who loves you, but who wants to honor the spirit of the generous man who gave to others in secret.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets...to be honored by men...But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:2-4).