He goes by many names: St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Papa Noel, Father Christmas, even Sinterklass, but most recognizably in American as Santa Claus. The big red guy with a bowl fulla’ jelly recalls cold winter nights with children staying up late with the possibility of catching a glimpse of this fantastical man. But what is the real scoop on Santa? How did we come to think of this man?
Well, there is a back-story – as you can expect since I am writing this blog about it. The figure of Santa Claus most likely came from the real figure of St. Nick. In about the 3rd century A.D. there lived a man named Nicholas who alter became a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. This man was a Christian bishop of a city called Myra, located in what we today call Turkey along the southern coast. He was known as an honest man who had a huge heart for the poor. History.com provides an example of his big ol’ heart: “One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married.”
Though debate exists as to how the modern day image of Santa has come to be, the main characteristic that still marks him is his gift-giving ways. The feast day for St. Nicholas in the Catholic Church was in the winter, near the time of the celebration of Christmas. So, the two occasions seemed to have slowly merged into one big celebration of giving!
This man seems to truly deserve to have a legendary status in our celebration of gifts! With Chrsitmas being a little under two weeks away, we at Texas Treats hope you keep up the tradition of heartfelt gift giving to those around you!