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Santa Claus... Kris Kringle... Old Nick

Who is this guy and why does he have so many aliases??



Every December millions of children are visited by a short, full figured man in a red suit. Where did he come from, why does he do it and how does he accomplish this seemingly impossible task?

Santa Claus… Kris Kringle… Old Saint Nick… We see him on advertising posters, in parades, at department stores… who is this guy and why does he have so many aliases?

Well, the original St. Nicholas lived in south western Turkey in the 4th century. As the bishop of Myra he was credited with doing a number of miracles involving sailors and children. After his death this led him to become the patron saint of both groups. As a saint he was given his own “feast day” that was celebrated on December 6th. At about the same time Nicholas lived, Pope Julius decided to establish a date for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. As the actual time of year for this event was unknown, the Pope decided to assign the holiday to December 25th. Eventually, Saint Nicholas’s feast day also became associated with December 25th and his connection with Christmas was established. A tradition developed that he would visit homes on Christmas Eve and children would place nuts, apples, sweets and other items around the house to welcome him. As the reformation took a hold of much of Europe especially Holland where he was referred to as “Sinter Klaas” After this tradition came to the United States, “Sinter Klass” would eventually be know as “Santa Claus.”

As time went by, more and more was added to the Santa Claus legend. Thomas Nast, a 19th century cartoonist, did a series of drawings. Nash’s vision of Santa had him living at the North Pole. Nash also gave him a workshop for building toys and a large book filled with the names of children who had been naughty or nice. The 19th century Santa was often shown wearing outfits of different colours: purple, green and blue in addition to red. This slowly faded out so that by the beginning of the 20th century the standard image of Santa Claus was a man in a red suit trimmed with white.

How does Santa Claus travel around the world so quickly? Some have suggested that Santa Claus has the technology to manipulate time. By creating an artificial time bubble around his sleigh and his person, he could speed himself up as much as he needed. Again, this is far beyond human technology, but… However Santa does it, he deems to manage each year to delight millions of children on Christmas morning as he has done for over a century.

Perhaps it’s just magic, do you believe.

Ho Ho Ho.

Merry Christmas

Cocoon Childcare