Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

Company Blog

Ho Ho Ho or Holy Holy Holy

Posted by David DeJonge on

The real reason for the season…

For the last few years, we have seen for sale figurines and artwork depicting Santa Claus kneeling to the Christ Child. Evidently, these are a popular item.

But it strikes us as odd.

Recently, Legacy Icons sent a newsletter with a photo of one such figurine, contrasted with an icon of St. Nicholas of Myra, with the headline: “Ho Ho Ho, or Holy Holy Holy?”

We believe the creators of these figures and artwork have good intentions. If we are understanding it right, the message is: the Christmas season is about the birth of the Savior, and rather than gifts, the season is about worshiping Christ.

Image result for santa kneeling

Santa Kneeling figurine. Source: some store;-)

Indeed, more and more the commercialization of our Lord’s story has been changed into a free-for-all for big screen TV’s and Instant Pots. 

This rushing and pursuit of gifts has honestly bothered me for decades. And it is not lost on me that I now run a business that does a significant volume of sales during the holidays. I reflect on this often as Legacy Icons determines our marketing strategies and products we offer. 

Image result for black friday

Black Friday. Source: Wikipedia

At Legacy Icons, we do have an underlying mission. That is to offer products to strengthen and encourage faith in Christ as our Lord, God, and Savior, and to educate about the historic Christian Faith proclaimed by the Church.

By looking back, we can see the wisdom given to the Church Fathers in recognizing the dangers of even small changes in our beliefs. Today there are over 40,000 Christian denominations and non-denominations, each of them with differing theologies, all identifying as Christian.

The faith we hold and proclaim at Legacy Icons is preserved in our historic Liturgy, our Hymns, and of course iconography.

Image result for cappadocia church icon

Tokali Church, Goreme Cappadoccia. Circa 1100 Source: Pinterest

Before starting Legacy Icons, my career was as a photojournalist and portrait photographer. I learned the deep treasure of getting to a witness of an event to find truth. This was amplified when I was the spokesman for America's  last World War I veteran for the last years of his life. What a treasure it has been to spend time with such people and hear their accounts of the history they lived.

But if you can’t get to a direct eyewitness, there needs to be an effort to gather facts to make an assessment of truth. A baseline. In Orthodox Christianity, our icons are a part of that body of evidence. Before widespread literacy, generations of Christians have entered into this story through the icons. As Fr. Daniel Daly taught me as a catechumen: “We can tell it is truth because the icon matches the Bible, and the hymns, and the writings of the Fathers.”

Each aspect of the Church's life and witness strengthens and backs up every other aspect—because it is true.

So, back to Santa.

When I saw Santa in these images the first thing I thought was: They took our Mary, the Mother of God. To someone who does not know the story of Christianity, indeed, this may well become the visual seared into their minds, amplifying confusion about the “real reason for the season.”

My second thought quickly followed with a quote from the movie Elf: saying to Santa, “You sit on a throne of lies!” (This of course is humor.)

youtube: Throne of lies

"Elf" starring Will Ferrell. Source: YouTube

What is wrong with this cute image of Santa kneeling at the manger? Only this: it changes, parodies the very image of the Incarnation, which is at the very core of our Christian faith. 

(Imagine showing the Easter Bunny standing downcast at the foot of the Cross, or All Saints gathered around a Jack-o-Lantern. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if that has been done.)

Where in this image is the Lord's Mother, who said "may it be" on behalf of the entire world's salvation, within whom the Divine and Human were mysteriously joined? Where are the ox and ass, which represent the Jews and the Nations? Where is the Cave, which points to the Tomb? Where are the Angels, with their faces filled with wonder to see God in human form?

For us, changing the core scene of our faith, for whatever reason—even with good intentions, is dangerous. 

What do you think?

David DeJonge is the founder of Legacy Icons, award winning photographer and documentary filmmaker.

Christmas Shipping Guide

Domestic Customers (U.S. and Territories)Cathedral Size Icons Standard Shipping: Order by Thursday, December 6 Express Shipping: Order by Monday, December 10Masterpiece Icons Standard Shipping: Order by Thursday, December 13 Express Shipping: Order by Monday, December 17Classic Icons Standard Shipping: Order by Sunday, December 16 Express Shipping: Order by Wednesday, December 19Quick Ship, Incense, Prayer Ropes, Stocked Items Standard Shipping: Tuesday, December 17 Express [...]

Read More »


The Spiritual Senses

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:14.God has given us physical senses whereby we may perceive the things of the physical world-- sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. It should not seem [...]

Read More »


By the Grace of God

We just delivered food stuff to the family as we promised. All this work of love is through your support in donations.. Please Pray for us. At St Barnabas orphanage and school, you can make a difference today by giving a small portion of yourself and what our Dear LORD Jesus Christ has blessed you with, [...]

Read More »


How You Can Help Today

By the grace of God. On Saturday, 30 September 2017, I shall be visiting the family with two severely disabled children. So far we have received 200$ which was earmarked by our friends to be given to this family for their needs. I hope and pray that with the few days before this visit, you will [...]

Read More »


The Power of Your Words

Most are the time we get what we say. Our words becomes self-fulfilling prophecies. If you allow your thoughts to defeat you, giving in to negative ideas through your words, your actions will follow suit.That is why we should be careful of what we say. Our words have tremendous power, and whether we want to [...]

Read More »


How much Does Holy Communion for children cost in the Orthodox Church?

We welcome a new contributor to our blog, Fr. Methodius Jm Kariuki, director of the St. Barnabas Orphanage and School in South Kinangop, Kenya.Most people do not realize there is a financial expense associated with serving Divine Liturgy. There are candles on the altar. There is flour and yeast needed to make the bread for [...]

Read More »


Is the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Scriptural?

The Dormition or falling-asleep of the Virgin Mary and her translation to heaven are not recorded in the pages of the New Testament. This is a stumbling block to some while they overlook the fact that the New Testament likewise does not record the circumstances of the deaths of any [...]

Read More »


Recovering Christian Values in Post-Christian America

When I was a little boy back in the 60s I was fascinated by photos of my ancestors taken a century before. I often wondered why they looked so different from modern people. When I inquired about it, I was told that was just the way styles change, or that it was colder in those [...]

Read More »


Raid on an Ancient House Church Reveals Some Surprises

The following document is part of an official record of actions taken against a house church in the town of Cirta* in Algeria during the Diocletian persecution. It provides a description of both the church hierarchy of the Ante Nicene period (consisting of a single bishop, as well as priests, deacons, subdeacons and readers as [...]

Read More »