Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, the Nativity of the babe in the manger whom Christians believe was the Son of God. Indeed, the very word Christmas means “Christ festival”.
Celebrating Christmas: A Visit With Nicholas
Yet there can be little doubt that for many it is Santa Claus — not Jesus — who is the human face of Christmas. In fact, it is fair to say that in much of the world, Santa is better known than the Christ who gave his name to the holiday.
But how did the fat man in the Coca-Cola Tag Heuer Replica red-and-white suit become the symbol of Christmas? The truth is that like the Christmas story itself, the story of Saint Nicholas is a composite of history, myth, and legend.
According to tradition, he was born in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) in about A.D. 270. When young, he traveled to Palestine and Egypt. Not long afterward, he became a bishop. During the Roman emperor Diocletian’s bloody persecution of Christians in 303, Nicholas was imprisoned. However, when Constantine the Great became emperor in 306, he legalized Christianity and made it the official religion of the Roman Empire. Nicholas was freed.
The scribes tell us that Nicholas’s prayers and leadership during the great tribulation led many to become Christians. Nicholas continued to serve as bishop for many years. On December 6, 343, Nicholas the man died, and Saint Nicholas the legend was born.
During his lifetime, Nicholas’s reputation for generosity and kindness gave rise to stories of miracles he performed for the poor, the weak--and children. After his Replica Tag Heuer Watches death, devotion to Nicholas extended to all parts of Europe. His feast day was celebrated on December 6, but his reputation as a gift-giver later became attached to the celebration of Christmas on December 25.
After the Reformation in the 16th century, Nicholas’s cult disappeared in most Protestant countries of Europe. But his legend was united with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded good children with presents. In England, he became known as Father Christmas. But in Holland, Saint Nicholas’ name and reputation persisted as “sinterklaas.”.
In the 17th century, Dutch colonists took this tradition with them to America. Later, Sinterklaas was adopted by the English-speaking majority as “Santa Claus.” The resulting image of a “jolly old elf” driving a sleigh with “eight tiny reindeer” crystallized in the 19th century. That was when Clement Moore wrote the now-famous poem “A Visit From Saint Nick.” Tag Heuer Carrera Replica And the red-and-white suit? That was created by a Coca-Cola adman in the 1930s.
Although greatly commercialized, the modern Santa Claus still embodies8 Saint Nicholas’ generosity and love for children. And for some, he still points to the Nativity of the babe in the manger, and reminds us of the reason we celebrate Christmas.
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