How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas


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Italians steal the body

The poem attributed to Moore may be the basis for current conceptions of Santa Claus, but Thomas Nast's drawings of Santa Claus during the latter half of the 19th century are what engraved a standard image of Santa Claus into everyone's mind. Nast also added to the Santa character by having him read children's letters, monitor children's behavior, and record children's names in books of Good and Bad behavior.

Nast also seems to be the person who located Santa Claus and a workshop for toys a the North Pole. Although Santa here is smaller, like an elf, the image of Santa is basically fixed at this point.


  1. Accessibility links.
  2. Principles Of Political Economy;
  3. Dimes y Diretes de Una Iglesia Evangélica (Spanish Edition).
  4. A Pictorial History of Santa Claus!
  5. Money Troubled.

In addition to Santa's visual appearance, his character also had to be created. The most important source for this may be Francis Church and his infamous response to a letter from a little girl named Virginia who wondered if Santa really exists. Church said that Santa exists, but as everything but a real person.

Santa is Vegetable?! Christmas Cartoons

Church is the source of the idea that Santa is somehow the "spirit" of Christmas , such that not believing in Santa is the same as not believing in love and generosity. Not believing in Santa is treated like kicking puppies for fun. There are certainly a few religious elements to Santa, but he can't be treated as a specifically religious figure.

Santa went through many changes as Christmas celebrations transformed over the years.

Almost everything that people today understand as part of the Santa Claus myth was invested in this figure fairly recently and, it appears, for entirely secular reasons. No one took a beloved religious icon and secularized it; Santa Claus as a Christmas figure has always been relatively secular, and this has only intensified over time.

Because Santa is the central figure for Christmas in modern America, his basically secular nature says something important about Christmas itself. How can Christmas be essentially Christian when the leading symbol of Christmas is essentially secular? The answer is that it can't—while Christmas may be a religious holy day for many observant Christians, the Christmas holiday in the broader American culture isn't religious at all.

Christmas in American culture is as secular as Santa Claus: it has some Christian elements and some pre-Christian pagan elements, but most of what makes up Christmas today was created recently and is basically secular. The question of "what's so Christian about Santa Claus? Not liking the situation won't change anything, though, so what can Christians do?

The obvious route to take is to replace secular observances of Christmas with religious ones. So long as Christians continue to focus on Santa Claus coming to town to deliver gifts rather than on the birth of their savior, they will remain part of what they see as the problem. Dispensing with, or even just limiting, the role of Santa Claus and other secular elements of Christmas as probably won't be easy, but that only demonstrates just how deeply enmeshed in secular culture Christians have become.

They carefully wrapped the relics in a silk case brought for the purpose. Yet the crew made it back to the harbor at Bari, where the townsfolk and clergy processed, singing joyous hymns, to greet the saint. A new church was built for Nicholas in the court of the governor of Bari. A few years later, Pope Urban II — the one who would preach the First Crusade — formally enshrined the relics of the saint. For at least five centuries, the region, which includes Bari and its saint, was caught in constant wars for possession of southern Italy.

What's So Christian about Santa Claus?

Because Nicholas was a patron saint of sailors, Spanish sailors and explorers carried stories of the saint wherever they went: Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida and other ports around the world. Even the Dutch, who rebelled against Catholic Spain and formed a Calvinist republic in , somehow maintained their devotion to Sinterklass.

In other parts of Europe, St. Nicholas lost his feast day but his concern for children helped link him to the gift-giving tradition of another December feast day: Christmas. In the s, Italian scientists examined the bones enshrined in the Basilica di San Nicola, seeking evidence of authenticity.

The History of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus

They found the skull and incomplete skeleton of a man , dating to around the fourth century. He lacks the rosy cheeks and Anglo-Germanic features of modern Christmas decorations, but like the Santa Claus of greeting cards, he was probably bald. They have discovered another sarcophagus dating to the fourth century in the same church, which they claim contains the saint. Although relic theft was common in the Middle Ages, grave-robbers often made mistakes or lied about the authenticity and source of their bones.

Nothing in the shrine at Bari proves that the bones inside belong to the fourth-century Bishop Nicholas. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Santa Claus will soon be coming to town, bringing gifts to children. Who was St. Nicholas really? An 11th-century wall painting depicting St.


  1. This Christmas tell your children the real Santa Claus story?
  2. The Sword, The Ring and The Mirror Pt 2: John and The Black Knight.
  3. The History of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus?
  4. The Historical Background of Santa Claus in Different Cultures?

Nicholas at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens. Italians steal the body This pilgrimage was disrupted in the 11th century when Seljuk Turks invaded Anatolia. Nicholas gets a reputation A new church was built for Nicholas in the court of the governor of Bari. A view of the interior of the church of St.

Santa Claus– the face of Christmas

Nicholas, built in the 11th century, at Bari. Nicholas around the world: Russian Orthodox believers line up to kiss the relics of St. Nicholas that were brought from an Italian church where they have lain for years. How true is this story? Which Santa story will you tell this holiday season? You might also like Scotch pines on a Christmas tree farm in northern Michigan. Bert Cregg. If they ask, tell them the truth. What might have motivated the young missionary killed on a remote island in India? Hanukkah demands fewer religious rituals than most other Jewish observances.

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How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas
How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas
How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas
How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas
How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas How Santa Became The Face Of Christmas

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