Korifaeus Magazine

••• The Big Brother's, oops, i mean Apple's Gazette ••• A Sophisticated Periodical with Panache and a Sense of Humor

Santa Claus versus the Christmas Man

Urban Legends
by Korifaeus

In the United States and some other countries we only know of Santa, as in Santa Claus, who comes through the Chimney ( like a Chimney sweep) on Christmas Eve, leaves presents under the Christmas tree for the “good” kids, not leaving any soot from the chimney behind, possibly cleaning it all up before getting back into the fire place, climbing up the chimney all the way to the roof, then flies to the next house in his magical sled pulled through the air by his faithful reindeer.

By the time he’s done giving out the presents his beautiful red suit must be so black from the soot of the chimneys, he must truly look like a Chimney sweep – soot being tough to clean, i’m assuming he gets a new suit every year to look nice and proper.

Who ever came up with the idea of having Santa Claus climb through the chimneys, a big jolly fellow like him, apparently never considered that the fire places are burning during Christmas time, it being December, thus the “winter” season when it’s freezing cold, thus the fire place filled with burning wood and coal.

What about homes, or apartments that have no fire places ? Does Santa visit them, too, and if so how does he get into the homes ?

But regardless of the illogical scenario ( am i being too rational ? ) that’s the Santa we’re familiar with in the United States, who’s said to’ve been based on a Saint from a Turkish region handing out gifts to children, and such, according to the “newer” history regarding the origin of Santa Claus.

When i grew up we kids were told a very different story regarding Santa Claus, which, to me personally, still makes more sense than the Turkish Saint Story. Having said that, we’re the only country in the world ( outside of the U.K. and some other english speaking countries) in the world, where ” Santa Claus” comes on Christmas Eve, December 24th. In German speaking European countries, as well as the Netherlands, etc., Santa Claus, his full name being Saint Nikolaus, is celebrated on December 6.
On December 24th, however, comes the ” Christmas Man” ( along with his Christmas Angel) and leaves the presents under the Christmas tree, and he differs greatly from the Santa we’re familiar with.

Regardless of the many theories as to the origin of Santa Claus, here’s the story we were told when i was a kid:
In the early 18 hundreds there was a Czar in Russia, whose name was Nikolaus-I ( Czar Nikolaus the first) – Kings, Czars, Emperors were often times depicted wearing their ” Coronation Mantle” ( or King’s Robe) made of Red Velvet with the seam lines made of white ermine.

It so happened that Czar Nikolaus-I would wander the streets with a satchel filled with gold coins on the night of his birthday, and looking at the shoes and boots which folks left outside their doors, he’d place a gold coin into the poorest looking shoes – thus anonymously give charity to the poorest of the poor. He’d only place a gold coin into shoes that looked the poorest – worn out leather with holes in the front or the soles.

Since this happened every year around on the same day, people began wondering who the benevolent person was and at some point some spied that night to see who it was, when it was discovered it was no other than Czar Nikolaus-I himself.

When Czar Nikolaus fought a war with “Turkey”, and so happen to be in that Region on his birthday, he continued his tradition and went out in Turkey the night of his birthday, where people also left their shoes standing outside the door, and placed a gold coin into the shoes that looked the poorest to him.

Finally when Czar Nikolaus died on Dec. 6 during that war, the day was made into a national holiday, the Czar called a Saint because of his caring for the poor and folks commemorated the day by placing chocolate gold coins into the shoes of family members. Eventually when many people from these regions migrated/moved to other countries, including the west, they continued the tradition, celebrating Saint Nikolaus day.

That’s the story i remember being told when growing up, and it’s befuddling to me that it’s nowhere to be found, while yet it explains why Santa is depicted with a red suit with white fluffy seam lines ( ermine), his name is ” Claus”( Nikolaus), as well as the chocolate gold coins. In Europe folks celebrate St. Nikolaus day on Dec. 6., leave their shoes outside the door which are being filled with sweets.

I never thought i’d ever be old enough to witness history being changed right in front of my eyes, as we’ve been told happened in the past so many times before and apparently continues to happen. But what’s most peculiar is that few remember the old stories and start repeating the new ones, as though Wikipedia and the internet have become the authority of all and everything, with other sites apparently adapting/adopting what’s stated in Wikipedia.

Which brings me back to wondering when exactly Santa began climbing through a chimney and why ?

Be as it may, a little girl had her very own thoughts about that and made a Christmas song about it, wondering …
” Why does Santa…?”
Please enjoy 😉

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