That is the question...
There was a real St. Nicholas, so it's not like we're making anything up. The challenge is to keep the day that we celebrate the birth of Christ - Christ centered.
Which is pretty hard to start with, when the day seems to be surrounding presents (stuff) and presence (people).
I would ask...what does the presence of Santa Clause add to the holiday?
Well...Santa could add the expectation of gifts (for me). Materialism.
Or he could add the concept of giving without getting. It is Santa who exists for giving with no expectation of getting gifts in return.
He could also introduce the concept of anonymous giving. As "santa", we can slip a gift under the "giving tree" or slip a $20 into the Salvation Army bucket.
Giving without "your left hand knowing what your right hand is doing".
There is a different feeling in giving without others knowing. Giving in secret makes it all about the recipient, without an expectation of a "payoff" (either physical or emotional).
Our church is participating in the "Advent Conspiracy"...No, it's not about Santa, and it's not about being anonymous. It is about giving to those in need with no expectation of return.
Consider being about "giving with no expectation" this year...