Archive for the ‘Christmas Directory’ Category

Santa Claus

Joy of Christmas is an outspoken believer in the existence of Santa Claus. However, some sources quoted in this entry are from “unbelievers”.

Does Santa Claus exist?

Joy of Christmas has done extensive research and has established that, yes, Santa Claus (a.k.a. Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Santy or simply Santa) does exist. This information is so factual that, even though he tries to remain anonymous, he shows up in several US census reports; in 1900, 1910, and 1930.

History of Santa Claus

Santa is a variant of a European folk tale based on the historical figure Saint Nicholas, a bishop from present-day Turkey, who supposedly gave presents to the poor. Originally, this had nothing to do with Christmas, however the Germans had a tradition of giving gifts on Christmas and at some point in history traditions merged. This helped to explain the source of Christmas presents given to children on Christmas Day.

The name is derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas, an intermediate figure between the bishop and the Christmas icon. He forms part of the Christmas tradition throughout the English speaking world as well as in Latin America and Japan.

In Eastern Orthodox tradition, he visits children on the New Year’s Day and is identified with Saint Basil whose memory is celebrated on that day.
• Source:
Wikipedia

Saint Nicholas and Christmas

The historical Saint Nicholas was venerated in early Christian legend for saving storm-tossed sailors, defending young children, and giving generous gifts to the poor. Although many of the stories about Saint Nicholas are of doubtful authenticity (for example, he is said to have delivered a bag of gold to a poor family by tossing it through a window), his legend spread throughout Europe, emphasizing his role as a traditional bringer of gifts. The Christian figure of Saint Nicholas replaced or incorporated various pagan gift-giving figures such as the Roman Befana and the Germanic Berchta and Knecht Ruprecht. The saint was called Sankt Nikolaus in Germany and Sanct Herr Nicholaas or Sinter Klaas in Holland. In these countries Nicholas was sometimes said to ride through the sky on a horse. He was depicted wearing a bishop’s robes and was said to be accompanied at times by Black Peter, an elf whose job was to whip the naughty children.

The feast day of Nicholas, when presents were received, was traditionally observed on December 6. After the Reformation, German Protestants encouraged veneration of the Christkindl (Christ child) as a gift giver on his own feast day, December 25. When the Nicholas tradition prevailed, it became attached to Christmas itself. Because the saint’s life is so unreliably documented, Pope Paul VI ordered the feast of Saint Nicholas dropped from the official Roman Catholic calendar in 1969. The term Christkindl evolved to Kriss Kringle, another nickname for Santa Claus. Various other European Christmas gift givers were more or less similar to Saint Nicholas: Père Noël in France, Julenisse in Scandinavia, and Father Christmas in England.
• Source: “Santa Claus,” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2005

Santa Claus Today

Or: Santa Claus and Coca Cola

It’s sometimes claimed that the modern image of Santa Claus — a jolly figure in a red-and-white suit — was created by Coca-Cola. This is not true.

A Boston printer named Louis Prang introduced the English custom of Christmas cards to America, and in 1885 he issued a card featuring a red-suited Santa. The chubby Santa with a red suit (like an “overweight superhero”) began to replace the fur-dressed Belsnickle image and the multicolored Santas.

At the beginning of the 1930s, the burgeoning Coca-Cola company was still looking for ways to increase sales of their product during winter, then a slow time of year for the soft drink market. They turned to a talented commercial illustrator named Haddon Sundblom, who created a series of memorable drawings that associated the figure of a larger than life, red-and-white garbed Santa Claus with Coca-Cola. Coke’s annual advertisements — featuring Sundblom-drawn Santas holding bottles of Coca-Cola, drinking Coca-Cola, receiving Coca-Cola as gifts, and especially enjoying Coca-Cola — became a perennial Christmastime feature which helped spur Coca-Cola sales throughout the winter (and produced the bonus effect of appealing quite strongly to children, an important segment of the soft drink market). The success of this advertising campaign has helped fuel the legend that Coca-Cola actually invented the image of the modern Santa Claus, decking him out in a red-and-white suit to promote the company colors — or that at the very least, Coca-Cola chose to promote the red-and-white version of Santa Claus over a variety of competing Santa figures in order to establish it as the accepted image of Santa Claus.

This legend is not true. Although some versions of the Santa Claus figure still had him attired in various colors of outfits past the beginning of the 20th century, the jolly, ruddy, sack-carrying Santa with a red suit and flowing white whiskers had become the standard image of Santa Claus by the 1920s, several years before Sundlom drew his first Santa illustration for Coca-Cola.
• Source: Snopes Urban Legends Reference Pages

– Books –

  • The Autobiography of Santa Claus

    John H. Mayer’s warm and leisurely reading certainly puts one in mind of the classic nineteenth-century Claus, but it’s the generous sprinkling of facts that draws one in. Combines historical fact with glorious legend as St. Nicholas himself reveals the definitive story of Santa Claus.

    With seven centuries of holiday magic all rolled into twenty-four chapters-one for each cold December night leading up to Christmas-The Autobiography of Santa Claus is a great gift for the whole family.
    • Source: Amazon.com

  • The Real Santa Claus : Legends of Saint Nicholas
  • Flight of the Reindeer : The True Story of Santa Claus and his Christmas Mission

    Flight of the Reindeer offers proof positive that there is a Santa Claus and yes, reindeer really do know how to fly. Robert Sullivan, a senior editor at Life magazine, diligently gathered documentation from respected scientists, historians, zoologists, and Arctic explorers to prove once and for all that Santa is not just a myth.

    Will Steger, world famous as a Polar explorer, reveals his extraordinary adventure: his 1986 expedition to Santa Claus’s village at the North Pole. from Smithsonian writer Bil Gilbert, Sullivan learns of the little-known species of Rangifer tarandus pearyi, the flying reindeer from whose ranks are chosen the select few to pull Santa’s sleigh. From former president George Bush, he learns that “helping that fellow clear his airspace by signing the Santa Claus Clause was a great privilege of my office.”
    • Source: Amazon.com

  • Christmas Trivia

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Christmas Radio

Ever since Christmas carols became popular in the early centuries of Christianity, people have found ways to share and enjoy Christmas music.

With the advent of radio it was only natural that Christmas music took it’s rightful place there as well.

As genre-radio became popular there are now even radio stations which broadcast Christmas music the year round. Other stations have started to play Christmas music earlier every year.

The Internet brought us another type or Christmas music delivery; streaming Christmas music. The “streaming” refers to the way the music is delivered to your computer. Instead of downloading a song a “stream” of data comes to your computer at which point it is turned into music.

Other ways people often refer to streaming Christmas stations are; Christmas radio, Christmas music on the net, Christmas Internet station.

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