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Friday, 6 December 2013

Advrnt Calendar of Christmas Memories 6 - Santa Claus' Many Faces

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! 
 I came across this little verse in a church magazine and it made me smile.  No source or acknowledgement was given,  so here it is:   

The Four Lives of Santa Claus

I believe in Santa Claus
I don't believe in Santa Claus
I am Santa Claus
I look like Santa Claus!

The modern term "Santa Claus came from the Dutch figure of Sinterklass, which in turn stemmed from the legend of St. Nicholas, a bishop and giver of gifts.

In ancient times, people faced hardship in winter and looked to the forces of nature to be benevolent to them.  A figure such as “Old Winter” or "Father Christmas" dressed up and visited houses, wishing goodwill on the house.  It was a time of feasting and drinking in the hope that these symbolic acts would influence the nature.

The traditional image of Santa Claus we owe to the American post Clement Clark Moore in his famous  poem  of 1822 "T'was the night before Christmas" which introduced the elements of chimney and reindeer;  to the artist Thomas Nast whose drawing appeared in 1861, and to the Coca Cola advertising campaign of 1931 which gave us the red costumed chubby, cheery figure we know today.  Father Christmas and Sand Claus became one.   
T'was the night before Christmas
Wen all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse................
My mother made this Santa Claus (below) many years ago for my daughter - just one of  many soft toys she sewed or knitted.  Santa is now looking rather tired, having also been passed onto my little granddaughter.  But he is still a lovely seasonal memory of my talented mother.



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