Santa, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas…which name is correct?!
No matter what you call him, the large jolly gift giving guy has always been a part of our lives. But how did Father Christmas become such a well known figure? We’ve found the answers!
Santa Claus is a legendary figure from the Western Christian culture. He is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the evening of 24th December and in the early morning on the 25th every year. However this is not the traditional story surrounding Saint Nicholas. The orginial Saint Nick was a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver. From a province of the Byzantine Empire, now in Turkey, Nicholas was most famous for his generosity towards the poor. He was religious from an early age and devoted his entire life to Christianity. He is usually portrayed as a bearded bishop in robes.
In the Middle Ages, on his name sakes day on 6th December children were often bestowed gifts in his honour. The date for this was then moved back towards the end of the month (24th and 25th December) in order to match the birth of Jesus.
The well loved image we all have of Santa Claus, is a large man with a round belly. A jolly smile, glasses with a red coat with white fur trim. This image of Santa first appeared from cartoonist Thomas Nast. The image has been maintained throughout song, tv, films and children’s books.
The traditional Santa Claus is said to have made lists of children throughout the world. Categorizing them according to their behaviour of either good or bad. Santa is then said to deliver presents to all the children. Toys and sweets to those who have been well-behaved and coal to any children that have misbehaved. This is said to have been completed by Santa, and his workshop elf helpers who make the toys in his workshop in the North Pole.