I first encountered the book I Believe in Santa Claus, by Diane G. Adamson, while serving as a Young Women advisor. A woman in our ward gathered us in her home and shared a Christmas message, including reading aloud this book.
It felt like the missing link between a Santa Claus Christmas, filled with wonder and magic, and a baby Jesus Christmas, filled with reverence and glory.
Since that time, I have pondered on what Santa represents and where his place might be in our Christmas traditions.
The scriptures teach us that “all things denote there is a God” (Alma 30:44). If we are looking, all things can and will point us to Him.
How does Santa Claus point us to Christ?
Taking a look at Santa, what do we see?
Santa may be the most famous figure for bringing good gifts. But isn’t Christ?
“And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.” (Moroni 10:18)
When we see Santa, we see someone who loves little children. Remind you of anyone?
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)
Santa has white hair and wears red. So does someone else.
“His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters” (D&C 110:3).
“And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.” (D&C 133:48)
Santa Claus may have been commercialized, but not beyond repair.
This Christmas, let us let Santa take his proper place as a symbol of Christmas—as a symbol of Christ. Just as the evergreen tree symbolizes everlasting life, and the candy cane reminds us of the Shepherds—the first witnesses of Christ; just as the angel or star atop the Christmas tree turns our thoughts to that glorious night in Bethlehem; Santa can also be a symbol of Christmas that directs our thoughts to Him.
This Christmas, I believe in Santa Claus—because I believe in Christ.