Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus is a figure with religious, legendary, mythical, historical origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.I have prepared a few curiosities about Santa.

Well, let’s start with some history. The name “Santa Claus” stems from Saint Nicholas of Myra. He was a 4th century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity.

In North American tradition (in the United States and Canada), Santa lives on the North Pole, which according to Canada Post lies within Canadian jurisdiction in postal code H0H 0H0 (a reference to "ho ho ho", Santa's notable saying). However, other nations believe he lives somewhere else. For instance, each Nordic country claims Santa's residence to be within their territory. I see regularity here: everyone wants to have Santa close to their homeland and I’m not surprised with it.

Many people think that the red-suited Santa was created as a marketing tool by Coca-Cola and consider it as a symbol of commercialism. They are wrong. It was Thomas Nast, cartoonist, who first created the red-suited Santa. A classic version of Santa Claus was drawn in 1863 for Harper's Weekly. Before then, most depictions of Santa Claus showed a tall, thin man. Nast drew him as the bearded, plump man known today.

There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus..


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