What is the story of Father Christmas, Santa Claus & St. Nicholas?
Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas or St Nicholas, is a legendary figure who has been in our cultural stories since the 4thC with St Nicholas. Santa is said to bring gifts to children on Christmas Eve. I wonder why the adults don’t get gifts from Santa? Have we managed to lose the magic I wonder?
According to the traditional story, Santa Claus is a jolly old man with a white beard who wears a red suit and lives at the North Pole. He is accompanied by his elvish helpers, who assist him in making and delivering gifts to children around the world in one evening.
Did he always wear a red suit? find out later in the article to see where that influence came from! & how one culture influenced another
Despite the many variations of the Santa Claus story, the central theme remains the same. A kind and generous figure who brings joy and happiness to children during the holiday season. In this way, Santa Claus serves as a symbol of the spirit of Christmas and the values of generosity and kindness that it represents.
The story and image of Santa Claus have been used in a variety of ways to communicate values, traditions, and cultural beliefs.
- Joy and happiness to children and families during the holiday season
- Encouraging generosity and kindness towards others
- Serving as a cultural icon and symbol of the holiday season
- Providing a source of entertainment and enjoyment for people of all ages
- Helping to create a sense of community and connection between people during the holiday season
It is worth writing that these benefits are not unique to Santa Claus and could be attributed to other cultural figures or traditions as well. The importance and impact of Santa Claus in any given society will vary depending on cultural context and individual beliefs.
When was Santa Claus 1st mentioned?
One of the earliest written references to a figure resembling Santa Claus is found in the poetry of the 4th-century Greek bishop St. Nicholas, who is revered as a saint in many Christian traditions. St. Nicholas was known for his generosity and kindness, and he is often depicted in art and literature as a kind and benevolent figure and was noted for his habit of secretly leaving gifts for people in need, including children.
The modern image of Santa Claus as we know it today is largely based on the Dutch legend of Sinterklaas, which was brought to America by Dutch settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The figure of Sinterklaas was based on the historical figure of St. Nicholas, who brought gifts to children on the evening of December 5th.
In 1823, the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”) was published, and this poem is credited with helping to popularise and shape the modern image of Santa Claus as a plump, jolly old man, dressed in furs with a pipe, and a white beard who brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve.
This poem has had a lasting impact on the way that Santa Claus is portrayed in popular culture, and it has helped to establish many of the key characteristics that are associated with Santa Claus today.
It is not clear why St. Nicholas is associated with the practice of delivering gifts on December 5th, but it is thought to be related to the Feast of St. Nicholas, which is celebrated on December 6th in many Christian traditions. The Feast of St. Nicholas commemorates the life and legacy of St. Nicholas, and it is often marked with gift-giving and other acts of kindness in his honour.
Religious or not why wait for a day in a year to be kind and generous – it isn’t always about presents that are wrapped. A thought, a gesture, a smile, a conversation all gifts that cost little and sometimes nothing.
When did it change to December 24th? it appears no one knows but somewhere between the 4th C and now!
It may be linked to the spread of Christianity, or pure marketing in more recent years, and the spread and integration of cultures
How was Santa described in 1823
Here is an excerpt from the poem that describes Santa Claus:
“He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’
Why does Santa use reindeer?
The use of reindeer in the Santa Claus story may be based on the fact that reindeer are well-suited to living in cold, snowy environments, such as the North Pole where Santa lives.
Reindeer are also known for their strength and endurance, which would be helpful for pulling a heavy sleigh through the air, for 1,000s of miles in one evening taking into consideration all of the time zone changes they travel through – it is a busy night for one man, his elves and 8 tiny reindeer .
Plus of course, the image of Santa’s reindeer has become an iconic part of the Christmas tradition and is a beloved part of the story for many children and adults.
Back to marketing and where did the red suite come from?
Does Santa Claus have an evil side? there are always pros and cons so you would think