Posts Tagged ‘Word Inspection’

So, who is this Santa Claus anyway?

I am very happy for people to do their own thing at Christmas, after all, it is their family and not mine.  Some people love to do the whole Santa kit-and-kaboodle and others steer clear of it.  When I was growing up, Santa played a pretty colossal role in our family Christmas – food for Santie (as I fondly called him…not really…although I wouldn’t be surprised as I love to make up horrendously lame words), carrots for his reindeers, a pillowcase of gifts at the end of our beds come early early morning, edible reindeer droppings (choc covered licorice) sprinkled on the floor from our bedrooms to the Christmas tree. Flip to the other side of the coin and you have a good point in that when your child finds out that Santa isn’t real (along with the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, the Boogey Man who will eat them if they don’t do as mummy and daddy says), will they still believe all the other ‘stories’ they have grown up with about Jesus and God and Noah and Goliath, or will they start to associate them with just made-up stories too?  These are questions that always come up at Christmas time. My husband and I have ideas of what we would like to do when we have children one day. I hear great view points on both sides of the argument and it all comes down being able to make our own decisions for our own reasons, without bring judged…hopefully.
In the meantime, here is an inspection of the words ‘Santa Claus’ and where it comes from –
Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in Lycia (modern Turkey) sometime before AD 350. Little is known of his life, but he was associated with kindness to children. For this reason, Saint Nicholas’ Day (6 December) became the traditional day for giving gifts to children in the Netherlands. This custom was taken to America by early Dutch settlers, and Santa Claus is merely an adaptation of Sinter Klaas, the Dutch version of the name ‘Saint Nicholas’. He was popularised by a poem called ‘A Visit from Saint Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore, published in New York in 1823 – one that begins with the famous line, “Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house…”.
*Christmas WordWatch by Kel Richards
For more information on the origin of Santa Claus, please visit: http://www.the-north-pole.com/history/

Why the 25th December?

Search the Bible and you will find that it doesn’t actually tell us the date on which Jesus was born. So Christians who wanted to celebrate his birth had to pick a date, and what they picked was 25 December.
In other words Christmas Day is a bit like the Queen’s Official Birthday.  The Queen was born in April but her ‘official birthday’ is celebrated in June (in Australia). In much the same way, the early Christians didn’t know Jesus’ actual birthday, so they picked a day to be his ‘official birthday’.
It was back in the year 440 that this day was picked. And it was chosen because it was close to the date of the winter solstice, 22 December. That’s about the time when the sun reaches its most southern point and starts swinging back to the north. So in the northern hemisphere it was the mid-point of winter.
From the solstice onwards the days started slowly getting longer and warmer.  Now that’s not a bad thing to celebrate: which the ancient pagans did with a big party.
When those pagans became Christians they said, “Hey, let’s keep our mid-winter party, and use it to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ”. Maybe not in exactly those words, but that was the idea. And that’s how the date for Christmas was chosen.
– * Christmas WordWatch by Kel Richards