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Santa Claus is a True Ancient Living Legend

December 20, 2008
By KENNETH COBB, For The Inter-Mountain

Santa Claus is a legend of many characters. Some of them are Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply "Santa." The popular North American form of Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch "Sinterclaas," which in turn is a form of "Sint Nicholaas."

The real Saint Nicholas from the fourth century was a very wealthy, giving and loving person, especially toward children living in destitute conditions. He would often bring joy to them, dropping toys or small gifts down the chimney or tossing them through the window. Saint Nicholas was also quite a character according to history. Legend has it that when he was born he stood up and said thanks to the Supreme Being for a safe arrival. According to the limited history that has been documented, he would jump on his horse and ride across the rooftops with his many helpers and deliver these gifts.

The American image of Santa Claus is elaborated by Thomas Nast who depicted Santa for Christmas in the issues of Harper's Magazine of the 1860s to the 1880s. Nast added such details as Santa's workshop being at the North Pole with a list of good and bad children throughout the world.

In North American poetry, Santa Claus has a white beard, red jacket and a pompon-topped cap. He would arrive on the night before Christmas in his sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, climb down the chimneys, and leave all sorts of gifts in the stockings children hung out on the fireplace mantelpiece.

Over the years, or maybe I should say centuries, just about all nations have come together to accept Santa Claus as the ageless, timeless, long-lived white-bearded spirit who gives out gifts on Christmas morning and returns to his home at the North Pole.

With this very brief description about the Legend of Santa Claus, I would like to conclude by saying, "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night."



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