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Santa Claus and Christmas
First things first when we talk about the fat, fat man with the white, white beard who comes down chimneys all over the world on Dec 24-25 to deliver presents to those who have been nice we are talking about Santa Claus.
When we say Santa Clause we may be discussing a movie The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen.
How did Santa Claus come into being and what does he have to do with Christmas besides being faster than Fedex? Santa Claus is most likely to have been derived from Saint Nicholas and is a common yuletide figure in the western world.
But what does he have to do with Christmas other than present delivery? One story has it that Santa used to give anonymous donations of gold coins to persons in need. His popularity grew n Europe and Christmas presents were distributed on December 6th when the celebration of St. Nicholas took place.
Perhaps we can best understand Santa’s relationship to Christmas when we understand what Christmas means. Christmas means "Christ mass," which is a special celebration of the Lord's supper that is called a mass in the Roman Catholic Church. In many Protestant churches it may be called a Communion supper.
Santa has nothing to so with the religious celebration but everything to do with the secular one.
Over the years the secular Christmas which seems to be a contradiction in terms has become a commercial event with the focus on shopping. The fat and jolly man with the white hair and beard has been around since the 19th century but it was the 20th century when he came into his own and his likeness was everywhere.
I remember as a child leaving a bottle of coca-cola and some cookies out for Santa only to wake in the morning to find them gone, my sticking that was hung with care full and more presents under the tree that when I went to be.
When I got older and my sister stilled believed in Santa I got to drink the coke and eat the cookies.
This year I will be playing Santa Claus at the annual Rotary Christmas dinner. This is not the first time I have donned the red to spread kind words and distribute gifts, and it is likely that I will do so again.
Santa Claus is rooted in history but is a popular culture figure today who has been sued to encourage people to spend more than they can afford for gifts people do not really need.
Perhaps this season it is time to be charitable and remember those less fortunate and give appropriately.
coming to town
- History of Santa Claus
The history of Santa Claus