December 25th is the day hundreds of millions of Christians celebrate the birth of their Redeemer. It’s also the day hundreds of millions celebrate the generosity of their Rewarder. He’s the bearded jolly chap known as St. Nicholas or Santa Claus (Sint Klaas as the Dutch settlers called him in Holland). I like to think of him as the quintessential archetype for prosperity. In a tough economy where you may be losing sleep over losing your job, an abundant elf like Santa is vital to our national health and imagination.
Known as the patron saint of giving, Santa might more aptly be known as the patron saint of rapid transit. He’s a veritable master of bilocation. In December, you’ll spot him at the Town Center in Boca Raton, Florida, at the same moment your friends spot him on Broadway in New York City, while others insist he’s also on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Bilocation, shmilocation… Superman may be fast, but Santa is downright omnipresent. He’s more than just a symbol of prosperity, he’s a veritable embodiment of all possibilities.
When I was a small boy, my Uncle Dave was vital to my sense of possibilities. A personification of prosperity, he’d give me the silver dollars he pulled out of my ears with his magic. Dave was a mortal man, so he had his limits, Santa is a myth so he has none. His huge sack full of wrapped goodies is a veritable storehouse of infinite generosity.
This red-suited jolly old guy gives unending presents from just one sack, sleds his way over the rooftops of the world, and shares his bounty with children, the most innocent beings on our planet.
Perhaps St. Nick’s miraculous feats of “sharing-do” are powered by the ever-present mantra he chants– “Ho-ho-ho.” Is this an ancient mantra from China or an esoteric meditation from the North Pole? That ringing bell of his sounds more at home in Tibet than at his snowy digs.
While the holiday season is about love and hope, the girth of St. Nicholas inspires abundance. In December’s endless flashing neon, long checkout lines, and out-of-control credit cards, this archetype of prosperity brings a much-needed smile to the harried shopping class. We shouldn’t even think of foregoing the wrappings and trappings of a saint like Nick, he’s our national symbol of prosperity. Our political leaders forever spout peace and prosperity; these are qualities embodied by Santa Claus.
As I once told students in a prosperity class I gave near the nation’s capital in Alexandria, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”