In our attempt to be honest with our children, we do not practice telling them Santa brings them presents. I don't want my children purposefully lying to me so I'm not going to purposefully lie to them- even if it goes against one of the largest commercial-driven campaigns. Instead, we are teaching them that Santa was a real man who lived a long time ago and loved Jesus. It was becasue of his love for Jesus he gave presents and now people like to dress up and pretend to be him. Cole says that Santa is coming from heaven to give presents out. We still have some work to do.
Having said all of that, I decided to do Thursday 13 of historical facts about Santa Clause:
1- His original name was Nicholas
2- He lived in modern day Turkey in 300 A.D.
3- He was orphaned at a young age from the plague
4- He was left a very large inheritance
5- He grew up in a monastery where he became the youngest priest at age 17
6- He did indeed give away his wealth, mostly to children, by tossing goodies down the chimney or through the window
7- He later became a bishop, hence the long robe and hat
8- After his death, the Catholic church made him a saint. When they began to celebrate Christmas (which was not always celebrated- but that is another blog), St. Nicholas was incorporated into the festivities.
9- In the 17th century the Dutch brought over their version of Sinter Klaas and gift-giving
10- In 1822 a poem was written which introduced the 8 reindeer by name and Santa Clause was given elf-like qualities (later known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas")
11- In 1863, Harper's magazine drew illustrations of Santa Clause in their Christmas editions which continued until the 1890's. Later beginning in 1931, Coca-cola created a new picture of Santa Clause every year for 33 years which is how we recognize him today.
12- In 1997, "Artist Robert Cenedella drew a painting of a crucified Santa Claus. It was displayed in the window of the New York's Art Students League and received intense criticism from some religious groups. His drawing was a protest. He attempted to show how Santa Claus had replaced Jesus Christ as the most important personality at Christmas time"
13- We too easily worship the created instead of the Creator.
Hey, Merry CHRISTmas!
1931 Coca-Cola Ad
Information Source: http://rumela.com/events/christmas_santa.htm