“This little Light of mine, I’m gonna let It shine” is the song we sing to empower the child in each of us. “Your presence is our present” acknowledges the value of each one who visits us. “Kindness is where the magic lives….” encourages all to practice random acts of kindness. Generosity of spirit is the true meaning of Christmas, be the virus!
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and simply “Santa“, is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloricorigins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24. However in some European countries children receive their presents on St. Nicholas’ Day, December 6. The modern figure of Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch figure ofSinterklaas, which, in turn, was part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and carries a bag full of gifts for children. Images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of Clement Clarke Moore‘s 1823 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children’s books and films.
According to a tradition which can be traced to the 1820s, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, with a large number of magical elves, and nine (originally eight)flying reindeer. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the 1934 song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town“, Santa Claus has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.