Mark Driscoll recently wrote an article in the Washington Post entitled "What we tell our kids about Santa". It's a very interesting read as he highlights some of the facts about the real Saint Nicholas. He talks about his generosity and how he even defended the deity of Christ at the famous Council of Nicaea in 325.
Mark basically says there are three ways to deal with Santa story. We can reject it. We can accept it. Or we can redeem it. You can probably guess which one he goes with. Here's his summary:
In sum, Saint Nick was a wonderful man who loved and served Jesus faithfully. So, we gladly include him in our Christmas traditions to remind us of what it looks like for someone to live a life of devotion to Jesus as God. Our kids thank us for being both honest and fun, which we think is what Jesus wants.