Pot-bellied, jolly-looking, white-beards, red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, red hat with white fur, black leather belt and boots, A bag full of gifts for children(the good ones we’re told) and laughing in a way that sounds like “Ho Ho Ho”… Meet Santa Claus or Father Christmas
As a kid, depending on which “version” you met, you were either happy to sit on his lap, take pictures and get a gift or cry your eyes out from fear of meeting “Father Christmas”… I was the later for a while
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, there is something special about this season and it doesn’t matter how old you are or if you believe in Santa or not, you enjoy receiving gifts.
This is one tradition that’s celebrated more this season and we decided to look into how this tradition became mainstream. And the best place to start would be with the origin of the bearded man – Santa Claus
Did you know that why most of the world waits till Dec 25 to hand out gifts to children, most countries give gifts to kids on December 6th?
This is a nod to St Nicholas A.k.a the patron saints of kids and sailors and the very person behind the widely loved and celebrated persona called Santa claus
Santa Claus is actually based on the early Church Bishop Saint Nicholas.
Nicholas of Bari or Nicholas of Myra as he was also known was born in the third century (270 AD), in the ancient Lycian seaport city of Patara, Turkey.
According to historical records, he was a Bishop in Myra, was imprisoned and tortured during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian but later released by Constantine the Great.
We share gifts this season following Nicholas’s reputation for generosity and kindness which gave rise to legends of miracles he performed for the poor and unhappy.
His acts of charity and generosity were so widespread he was reputed to have given marriage dowries of gold to three girls whom poverty would otherwise have forced into lives of prostitution. A major miracle attributed to St Nick was the restoration to life of three children who had been chopped up by a butcher and put in a tub of brine.
After the Reformation, St Nicholas would have been lost to the annals of history if not for continued devotion from people in Holland where his legend persisted but in a different name – Sinterklaas.
Dutch colonists(people from Holland) took this tradition with them to New Amsterdam or present-day New York City in the 17th century.
Sinterklaas was adopted by America’s English-speaking majority under the name Santa Claus.
The modern image of him as a jolly man in red most likely comes from the 1823 poem “The Night before Christmas” (Click to read – It’s a beautiful poem)
Santa Claus is would become known as Father Christmas in the United Kingdom And the United Kingdom Colonised Us – This is why many of us still refer to the jolly old Fellow as Father Christmas.
You can be Father Christmas… Every time you give to someone in need you are not just Father Christmas but St Nick.
We know how rewarding the joys and blessings that come from giving and want you to enjoy them too
We hope you give more this season