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Who really is Santa Claus?

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During this holiday time, many may wonder about the thought of Santa Claus and how he came to be. It is time to shed some light onto the history of a man who comes through the chimney every December 25th and delivers presents to children.

It all starts in the country of Turkey, with a man named Saint Nicholas, also known as Sinster Klaaus. Saint Nicholas was full of generosity and kindness. The story goes as told: “There was a poor man who had three daughters. He was so poor, he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn’t get married. One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house. The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in the bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.” 

After that, Saint Nicholas was looked at as the protector of children and sailors. Many people celebrated him every year on December 6th. Now fast forward this story to about the 18th century when Dutch settlers brought the idea of Saint Nicholas to America. In 1809 Washington Irving helped bring the concept of Santa/Saint Nicholas when he referred to Saint Nicholas as the patron of New York in his book. He described him

Now fast forward this story to about the 18th century when Dutch settlers brought the idea of Saint Nicholas to America. In 1809, Washington Irving helped bring the concept of Santa/Saint Nicholas when he referred to Saint Nicholas as the patron of New York in his book. He described him as a “rascal” with a blue three-cornered hat, red waistcoat, and yellow stockings to a man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and a “huge pair of Flemish trunk hose.

After the spread of Saint Nicholas, the name began to change to Santa Claus because of his other name which was Sinster Klaas. The growth of what we know is Santa Claus is all in thanks to Clement Clarke Moore, who wrote a poem called “An Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas.” You can read it at the bottom of the article, and while reading it, it’s apparent to see how Santa was shaped into who he is because of this poem.

Some people may wonder why Santa Claus has become such a big icon in malls, with children going to visit him and taking pictures with him, and that stretches back to the 1920’s-1940’s when stores began to advertise Christmas shopping and starting Christmas advertisements in the papers. Then in 1841 thousands of children came to visit the first shopping mall Santa in Philadelphia, and from there that was the start of shopping mall Santas. 

Santa Claus has become a huge part of the tradition for many people, and that is because he had began his work since way before time, and his legacy will still continue for many years to come. Have a happy Holiday all, and be excited for Santa Claus to come down your chimney and open your stockings in the morning.

Above is a video from History.com on the evolution of Santa Claus. Check it out if you are interested.

Twas the night before Christmas,when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap; When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering sight should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; “Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!” As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, The prancing and pawing of each little hoof– As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he look’d like a pedlar just opening his pack. His eyes–how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlfull of jelly. 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 fill’d 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.” ”

— Clement Clarke Moore

 

 

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