Saint Nicholas, The Christmas Spirit

Saint Nicholas was born in the IV century in a place that belongs to Turkey in our times. He was a man that provided from a rich family and became famous in those times because of his generosity with the poor.

An epidemic left him without family so he became the heir of a big fortune. When he was 19, he became a priest. He invested big fortunes in making presents to poor children and orphans. Years later, Nicholas was vested bishop in Myra (Turkey).

Храм "Св. Николай"

There are many stories around the generosity of Saint Nicholas. One of them is that when Christmas was near, a ruined merchant couldn't pay his daughter's dowry so she can marry. Nicholas heard this and left him a bag full of gold coins in his door. Since that moment the custom of exchanging presents in Christmas started to become more popular.

Although the origin of giving presents for Christmas came from ancient Rome, when in the middle of December there were some celebrations in honor of Saturn in which the people gave presents to the children.

Father Christmas
Photo By Hammer51012

Saint Nicholas died in a date near Christmas so in some way it turned for History and forever into something like the father of Christmas, representing the values of generosity and goodness.
The mortal remains of Saint Nicholas were taken to Bari (Italy), where a church with his name was built.

Although Saint Nicholas was a thin man and carried the clothes of a priest, the image of Saint Nicholas (also known as Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, or "Santa") today is very different from this, and is due to the writer Clement C. Moore, who in a poem in 1823 described him as a fun, fat, short man, that carried a sleigh with 9 reindeer.

Santa Claus
Photo By MoonSoleil

Years later the drawer Thomas Nast depicted a Santa Claus that was wearing red clothes with a hat, tall boots, and had a toy workshop in the North Pole.

Haddon Sundblom, the Swedish drawer, in 1931, gave Santa Claus the popular appearance that has today, and was a commissioned work for Coca Cola.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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