This 14 minute piece was completely misleading on multiple fronts. Contrary to Scheer, Santa Claus is not merely a secularised version of the Roman Catholic St. Nicholas and thus in today's context a bankrupt and hollow form of virtue-appeal minus the theological substance. It's a convenient narrative but one that is less than accurate.
Santa Claus is pagan in origin, a product of Medieval synthesis. Santa Claus perfectly represents the composite nature of Christendom, an amalgam of Christianity and European paganism. The European culture of the Middle Ages can be described as the Greco-Roman Hellenistic culture of Late Antiquity combined with Northern European pagan traditions, all with a gloss or veneer of Christianity. The character Santa Claus is but one of many such examples of this cultural synthesis and tendency. While borrowing elements from a degenerate form of Christianity, the figure is neither wholly Christian nor Pagan... and thus is properly designated by Biblically minded Christians as Anti- or at the very least Non-Christian.
The author of the Federalist piece has chosen to completely ignore this reality and thus wholly misrepresents the nature of the 'Santa Claus question' for the modern Church.
There's a reason why the Reformation largely rejected this figure as well as most or all of the holidays and elements associated with the so-called Church calendar. This is in addition to the Reformation's rejection of the cult of saints which some High Church Protestants have tried to maintain by a sleight-of-hand theological trick. The hagiolatrous cult is maintained and yet it is redefined so as to 'fit' within Protestant orthodoxy. This is completely deceptive because the whole nomenclature, calendar and basis for the cult are rooted in the Roman Catholic doctrines of soteriology, Purgatory as well as their conceptions of merit.
Scheer decries secularism's 'Cultural Appropriation' of Santa Claus.
Santa Claus is the essence of Cultural Appropriation, a perfect example of this tendency within apostate Christendom. Santa Claus is partly derived from the so-called 'Saint' Nicholas. He is at least half-pagan. Scheer is apparently blind to the fact that the model of Christendom which she celebrates, including the cult of the saints, is nothing more than cultural appropriation. The pagan remnants of the Middle Ages could bring the very same charges against her and her ideological ancestors.
Modern culture's utilisation of the Santa motif seems to trouble Scheer and yet such a secular appropriation is for Biblical Christians no more troubling than any of the pagan rubbish associated with the liturgical calendar and the Christ-Mass.
The modern Santa Claus does not represent some recent degenerative element or tendency within the culture. Instead it points to an ancient degeneration, a centuries old apostasy which now these blind guides seek to resurrect and reinfuse with a new vitality.
Has Santa Claus been reduced to a veneer? That's all he/it ever was. The rot and foundation of sand that Christendom was built upon has been exposed and it's dying. The fact that Santa Claus has survived and has instead become something of a proxy for finding meaning in the winter festival is indicative of how shallow Christendom and in particular American Christendom was all along.
Saving Santa Claus and revitalising this absurdity with some kind of new theological meaning is not only unwise, it is wrong and an utter waste of time. Instead devoting time to the veneration of saints, the Church is better served learning about Christ and His Kingdom, something the advocates and apologists of Christendom fail to understand.