Santa Claus: A Biography

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Several sources state Saint Nicholas is believed to have died on December 6, Over the years, stories of his miracles and work for the poor spread to other parts of the world. He became known as the protector of children and sailors and was associated with gift-giving.

He was a popular saint in Europe until the time of the Reformation in the s, a religious movement that led to the creation of Protestantism, which turned away from the practice of honoring saints. Saint Nicholas, however, remained an important figure in Holland. The Dutch continued to celebrate the feast day of Saint Nicholas, December 6.

Diagnostic information:

It was a common practice for children to put out their shoes the night before. In the morning, they would discover the gifts that Saint Nicholas had left there for them. In the poem "An Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore, he is described as a jolly, heavy man who comes down the chimney to leave presents for deserving children and drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. The cartoonist Thomas Nast added to the Saint Nicholas legend with an drawing of Santa as wearing a red suit with white fur trim.

Once a kind, charitable bishop, Saint Nicholas had become the Santa Claus we know today.

Quick Overview

In , a team from the University of Oxford radiocarbon tested a fragment of a pelvic bone said to be from Saint Nicholas. The test confirmed that the bone fragment, owned by an American priest, dated from the saint's era. Archaeologists then hoped to match the bone to others purportedly belonging to Saint Nicholas, including those housed in a crypt in Bari, Italy, since the 11th century. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

Subscribe to the Biography newsletters to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. Saint Patrick is Ireland's patron saint, known for spreading Christianity throughout the country as a missionary during the 5th century. There was a lot that I did not know, or even think of, until I read the words in this book. The sections of the book cover every aspect of Santa.

The first section talks about before there even was a Santa Claus. It was instead Saint Nicholas, who would eventually evolve into the Santa Claus of today. The second section talks about the creation of the characteristics we know of today.

Santa Claus A Biography Chinese Text, Gerry Bowler. (Paperback )

Like where the reindeer came from and how he got his look. It also talks about the struggle to have a Santa in a religious world. The next four sections talk about how Santa has been used in the world. He was used as a spokesperson for marches and rallies, has appeared in countless ad campaigns, was used in the war effort as far back as the 19th century, and has had many movies and songs written about him. One spoiler. This poem played a large part in the creation of Santa as we know him today: Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

Santa Claus

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! On, Comet! On, Cupid! To the top of the porch! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack. His eyes-how they twinkled! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly! He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 3. Winter Wonderland 4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town 5.

About the Book

White Christmas 6. Let it Snow! I'll be Home for Christmas 8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 9.