I'm very late in posting; it's technically the 7th (and almost four in the morning). I've been up late (early?) finishing up another pattern test (my third! Yay me!) and dealing with Sam getting up every two hours! She thinks she's a newborn, I guess. Or teething. Or both.
So today's theme is Santa, which is appropriate considering that December 6th is Saint Nicholas' feast day. Try as I might I just couldn't get a picture of the man himself, so I went with a different approach. I have a copy of a big hardcover book, the Reader's Digest Family Christmas. It's filled with recipes for Christmas foods, Christmas crafts and gifts, and Christmas stories - lots of Christmas stories. It's a treasury. Now, some of the recipes may be not to my taste, and some of the crafts outdated - but the stories, there are the classics. Two in particular stand out to me as being the essence of "Santa Claus".
Miracle on 34th Street is the quintessential (I think) story of the struggle that some have with Santa Claus, and what he stands for, and the miracles that the Christmas season seems to invite. Of course a central theme in the story and of the season itself is giving, not just material things but giving of yourself. That is what I believe "Santa Claus" is.
Then there is the letter from a little girl name Virginia, to the editor of the New York Sun. You can read the story here. To me, the final sentence in the editor's response says it all - "No Santa Clause! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."