Children Tell No Lies: Santa Claus

Santa Clause in Forest

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Why is it so difficult for an adult to believe what children tell them? Children are pure, they are as clean as a white cloth, so why do people think they are telling nothing but mere lies? These innocent children are not even on any substance thus they are more sober than any other adults. The commencement regarding all this ruckus about Santa originated in Patara, near Turkey. Surprising?

Behind the jolly, red-suited, Santa of today lies a real person. He was said to be born in A.D. 280 and his real name was Saint Nicholas, an innocent Christian monk whose piety was said to be magical. He was credited with stopping a violent storm to save doomed sailors, donating money to a father forced to sell his daughters into prostitution, and even restoring life to a trio of boys who had been dismembered by an unscrupulous butcher.

Saint Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of Greek descent from the maritime city of Myra in Asia Minor during the time of the Roman Empire. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. As time went on, epochs of time eventually made him gain the name Santa Claus due to his miracle hands that brought good to many. He was a real person! It is just, that kids could not pronounce his name hence abbreviated to just “Santa”. 

Although details regarding what he truly looks like differ, along with his other historical details even his date of death varies, most historians argue that his date of death was December 6th. Perhaps the most reliable image of Saint Nicholas or Santa was drawn by Leonardo Da Vinci where he depicted a figure of an old man with, a long white beard and, a subtle smile minus the red suit.

Da Vinci had the picture of Saint Nicholas drawn when the ruckus about Santa reached middle-aged Europe after spreading all over Turkey. Eventually, Saint Nicholas spread to Northern Europe, where the story of his divinity correlates with reindeer, sleighs and elves. These myths are known as tales of the Teutonic, a mixture of legends, myths and facts inspired by Germanic and Nordic tales. The history spreads from Turkey to Europe. For several hundred years, circa 1200 to 1500, St. Nicholas was the unchallenged bringer of gifts and the toast of celebrations centred around his feast day, December 6.

The saint took on some aspects of earlier European deities, like the Roman Saturn or the Norse Odin, who appeared as white-bearded men and had magical powers like flight. Which is then twisted into flying sleighs and reindeer. He also ensured that kids toed the line by saying their prayers and practising good behaviour, hence the name “Saint” educating children to do good. 

But the real question would be, if it were Saint Nicholas, where are his remains? According to word of mouth, the Italian settlers stole Saint Nicholas’s bones and buried them beneath Rome’s greatest church for good luck. Some even believed that St. Nicholas’s bones were stolen by Italian sailors during the 11th century and taken to the crypt of the Basilica di San Nicola on the southeast coast of Italy. But these statements, facts, myths, and history may have changed but one thing for sure remains that he is a real person! Children tell no lies after all. 

The bringer of joy and gifts, Saint Nicholas:

Sketch by Leonardo da Vinci, the real face of Saint Nicholas (Santa), is the most accurate depiction of Santa ever recorded in history.

Leonardo Da Vinci

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