Wednesday 14 December 2011


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Santa Claus is a figure in Western culture who brings gifts to children during the night of Christmas Eve.  Also known as Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and Saint Nicholas, the modern day Santa became popular in the 19 century. 

Santa is depicted as a white bearded, jolly fat man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs and black boots.  He lives at the north pole and delivers gifts to all the children of the world during Christmas Eve,   He has help from the elves in his workshop, who make toys all year round, and delivers the presents on a flying sleigh pulled by reindeer.

He keeps a list of children which notes if they have been well behaved. Traditionally children will receive either candy or toys if they are good, or coal if they have been naughty.  On Christmas Eve children will often put out stockings by the chimney to receive gifts, and perhaps a carrot for Rudolf and a sherry for Santa.

The origins of Santa Claus can be traced back in history. Father Christmas originates from the pagan Winter solstice, where Old Man Winter would travel from home to home to be offered hospitality ion return for blessing them with a mild winter.  Kris Kringle is German in origin, and means Christ Child. He was a young boy who bought presents to children in German countries.  St Nicholas was born in 3rd century AD and devoted his life to Christian deeds.  He rid himself of all material possessions and helped the poor and suffering, earning him the reputation of a saint. 

Today, the story of Santa Claus is told to children all over the world and is a magical part of the festive period.

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