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How Did Santa Claus Become Part of Christmas?

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Believe it or not Santa Claus was not invented by Hallmark as a commercial scheme.

Santa Claus came from the Dutch take of Sinter Klaas (brought to New York in the 1600s). Saint Nick was fully Americanized by Clement Clarke Moore in his take "The Night Before Christmas" and Thomas Nast, who illustrated Santa Claus for Harper's magazine form 1860-1880.

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We all know the tradition of the wise men that brought gifts to the baby Jesus, but who is Santa Claus, and where did this story come from? Is he real? Santa Claus came from the patron Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas has a rich history as part of western culture and the his fame ties into the story of giving which goes with the spirit of Christmas. Saint Nicolas was born in Patara, a village in Lycia (modern day Turkey) in the third century. He was born to a wealthy family that it is said owned a fleet of fishing vessels. After his parents died he was left with the inheritance from their business. Nicholas was a devout Christian like his parents and was made the bishop of Myra. He was a priest during the years of Christian persecution from 284 to 311 when Galerius the Eastern Roman emperor created a general edit of toleration for Christians. During his time as a priest and later a bishop, Nicholas was know for his great generosity to the poor, children, and one who came to the defense ... more
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You'll find answers to these questions and many more by browsing the websites or reading some of the articles listed below. History Channel Christmas Exhibit The Real Story of Christmas has short informative articles on the pagan roots of Christmas, the Saturnalia celebrated in ancient Rome, Puritans banning of Christmas, American re-inventing Christmas a family oriented holiday, and Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol." In World Traditions, click on the map to learn Christmas traditions in countries around the world. The Evolution of Santa Claus traces the history of the Santa Claus legend back to St. Nicholaus who lived around 280 AD in what is now Turkey. It also includes the story of Santa's ninth reindeer, Rudolph. In the Christmas Trees section you can learn about trees around the world, the tree at Rockefeller Center, and other tree trivia. You can also read Virginia O'Hanlon's letter and the answer she received to her question, "is there a Santa Claus?" from The New York Sun ... more
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Who was Washington Irving?? My wife Joan showed me this--a good girl from Cleveland, nonetheless. It was written by David Cooney, San Francisco, entitled "How did Santa Claus come to be part of Christmas?" "Around the year 310 C.E., Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in today's Turkey. As a rule, priests are not rich men. But they used to be. Nicholas used his own wealth to buy people out of slavery. He saved a lot of children in this way. After his death, the Roman Catholic Church made him a saint; Dec. 6 was Saint Nicholas Day and children were given gifts to remember his famed generosity. He was very popular and he became a big hero, a mega-star. Then in the 1500's, big protest movements split the Catholic Church into different faiths." " Some protesters, or Protestants, didn't believe in saints. But St. Nicholas was such a hero mega-star that people held onto his memory by creating new characters based on him, like Father Christmas or Pe're Noe"l. When Dutch Settlers got to America ...
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