Christmas Gift Ideas
More About The First Christmas
Of Santa Claus And How He Got His
Who Is Santa?
Is he real? Does he really
exist? The legend of Santa Claus is on the mind of
just about every child who has ever heard of him no
matter what name he uses. This is the story of how
Santa Claus got his name.
- In a safely determined
pre-Christmas shopping / errand frenzy -- which
we intentionally chose far in advance, to avoid
the manic and the panic of people pushing and
knocking us over with handbags and Christmas
wrap tubes my friend and I drove from
destination to destination with pending anxiety.
We were sure at any minute
the shockingly sparse highway would morph into
the real December nightmare and cars would be
honking and sleet would be slamming, and people
would be fingering and gesturing and
At some point in our
speculating why an even non Christmas deserted auto
route would normally be packed with drivers, we
started talking about who Santa Claus is
he came from, how convenient that he appeared at
the same time as the Christ childs birth
celebrations (though Christ is really not a
December baby, more like February or March, and the
Greenwich time changes have seen to that erroneous
Do We Really Know Who
Santa Claus Is?
Its odd how much trivia
we know, but then cannot recall it when we need to.
So I did a little searching, to remind us of the
origins of the patron saint of Christmas
whoever he first was, other than one who secretly
left goodies in wooden shoes
Jolly Old Saint
All western cultures know of
Saint Nicholas (and hence the reason I could not
recall great details) is that he was a beneficent
man who left gifts in secret for the people of
4th-century Byzantine Lycia (Turkey).
His name was Nicholas of
Myra, a clergyman of Lycia (a bishop).
ut as he was a saint (patron
to merchants, seamen, archers, children, students,
prostitutes, pharmacists, lawyers, pawnbrokers and
prisoners [according to a wikipedia
contributor], his name became known as Saint
Nicholas, then St. Nick, as well as the name that
translated, centuries later, to Nickolaus in
Germany; Sinterclaas in Flanders/the Netherlands;
and, finally, Santa Claus in the western
The Santa Claus
A note to remember is that
St. Nicholas of Lycia is not to be confused with
Saint Nicholas of Sion, nor should he be feared
(beyond his power, with his list, to define good
and bad boys and girls) for his associations with
Knecht Ruprecht, the fabled
accompanier of St. Nick in Germany, who would eat
bad children. Nor should Saint Nicholas, or Santa
Claus if you will, be forgotten as a saint although
his original eve was celebrated in early December.
Martin Luther replaced the
events with those associated with Christ respects
on Christmas eve, in favor of a Catholic
much to the dismay of the
Protestants, who were (and still often are)
honoring their revered saint Nicholas.
Confused About Santa
No wonder my friend and I
were confused. Once again, we are left to our own
religions, devices, and choices, left to honor
whomever we honor on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,
or any other sacred time of the year.
With that said, don't worry
so much about origins. Take this time of year to
enjoy the holiday with your family and take a
moment to ponder the
real Christmas meaning.
You'll be fine.