(Editor's Note: This story was first published on December 20, 2001. It has been picked up and re-published all over the world every year since, becoming a Holiday Tradition. In 2004, it caught the attention of producers of Hallmark Films and the writer was cast in the movie, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus, playing The Mall Santa who magically receives the gift of sign language. The film is re-aired annually.)
He is loveable, congenial, giving and jolly. What's more he knows everything, as any child will readily testify. He is a colorful old man, whose visits are eagerly awaited by millions of children each year and who, for a little while, makes the world a much happier place.
Is Santa Claus a good influence on children, or a bad influence whose image merely commercializes Christmas and who takes the reason out of the season, as some charge?
Where did Santa come from? It will surprise many to learn that Santa Claus (as we know him today) came out of the church itself through the charity of a very devout and caring priest. Now bear in mind that this is a true, historically documented account.
Approximately 200 years after the birth of Christ, a meeting of the elders of a little church in Myra, Turkey had just been called to order. They needed to appoint a bishop but no fitting candidate could be found. So great was the need that they decided to pray.