Santa Claus - Summary

Did you know that Santa Claus is based on an actual person? The story of Santa Claus has its base in the Bishop of Myra, Saint Nicholas. Nicholas remains the youngest bishop ever to serve in the history of the Catholic Church.

Each country develops its own unique holiday gift-giver. Dutch settlers in America share their Sinterklaas but non-Dutch speakers mispronounce his name as Santa Claus. Santa Claus is known by many names such as Father Christmas (in England), Kris Kringle (in Germany), and Pere Noel (in France). In the United States, Santa Claus visits every house on Christmas Eve (December 24th).

The original Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas of Myra. Nicholas’ wealthy parents die when he is just a boy and legend says he wants to share the money his parents leave him. Wanting his gifts to be anonymous, legend says Nicholas throws gold coins into open windows of houses or down chimneys. Some of the coins supposedly land in socks drying by the fire.

Travel back in time to meet the real man that the legend is based on. Over the years, Saint Nicholas of Bari is kind to children, protects sailors, and gives generously of himself and his material possessions. The Catholic Church makes Nicholas a saint and his feast day is the anniversary of his death: December 6.

When Nicholas dies he is approximately 65 years old. Images depict Nicholas with a white beard wearing the robes of a bishop. Artists have imagined his likeness for thousands of years. Compare images of Saint Nicholas to the pictures of modern Santa Claus. Different from the saint, Santa Claus is a portly, joyous, full-bearded man. Authors Clement Moore and Thomas Nast are responsible for creating the image of Santa Claus as fat and jolly.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"Santa Claus" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2006. Dec 08, 2019.
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