Is Santa Claus Real?
You may be surprised to discover, the unqualified answer of the Roman Catholic Church - is YES!! Santa Claus is real.
By that I don't just mean symbolic of the spirit of giving, I mean he is a real, live, LIVING person.
Only thing is, he isn't exactly the way he is often depicted in the media - as the now symbol of the commerical meaning of Christmas. That idea of Santa Claus is actually the combined product of a story called, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and a picture of Santa Claus drawn for a Coca Cola advertizement - these together make the vision of Santa Claus as we usually think of him today.
The truth is, Santa Claus - which loosely translates to SAINT NICOLAS - was a real guy who lived in the 300's AD - he was a Bishop of a town called Myra in Turkey, and was known for his love and generosity. In particular, he used to throw STOCKINGS full of coins into the windows of poor teenage girls, so that they could have a dowry and get married, rather than forced into a life of prostitution. He was also renowned for his care for Children, and for sailors as a matter of fact. He may have been present at the Council of Nicea, which was a very important Church council at which what we now call the Nicean Creed (We believe in one God, etc...) was formulated.
And he is a Saint. In the Catholic Church, a Saint is basically someone that we know who IS in heaven. In other words, they are ALIVE. Also in the Church, we regard all those in heaven as people with whom we can be in communication with, and can even intercede for us and influence events in this world. Santa Claus would be one of them.
SO, the question, does Santa Claus visit us on Christmas Eve, sweeping down our chimney from his sleigh on our rooftop, pulled by eight tiny reindeer, with a bag full of presents? Well, the answer, in my opinion, is sort of, yea. Only maybe not the way we thought of it when we were little. God tends to work that way - his answers are always YES's, but they're usually yes's in ways that we could never expect or never dream.
So yes Virginia - there DEFINITELY is a Santa Claus.