Christmas time is just the best time to talk about Santa Claus. And though this bearded man may no longer be an important Christmas character in some parts of the world, he stays fantastic, a fantasy and fun to some children in other parts of the world. Though for us adults, Santa is no more than a creation of an ingenius mind from out of the blue.
Santa will still live forevermore in the minds of both children and adults who still imagine him as a symbolism for Christmas that can’t be done without in any Christmas décor assortments. He lives for as long as we give him life in our imagination and fantasy. But how did this being came to life and evolved is just as important a question as his having a place in the array of Christmas decorations that we find in almost all Christian homes.
In looking for the historical roots of Santa Claus, one must go very deep in the past. One discovers that Santa Claus, as we know him, is a combination of many different legends and mythical creatures that evolved over time and probably interpreted in some ways quite differently from one culture to another.
We know that the basis for the Christian-era Santa Claus is Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (Izmir), in what is now Turkey. Nicholas lived in the 4th century A.D. He was very rich, generous, and loving towards children. Often he gave joy to poor children by throwing gifts in through their windows.
The Orthodox Church later raised St. Nicholas, miracle worker, to a position of great esteem. It was in his honor that Russia’s oldest church, for example, was built. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church honored Nicholas as one who helped children and the poor. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and seafarers. His name day is December 6th. (Sourced from Google).
Having said all these, here is yet another profound reply to my previous post “Letter to Santa Claus” that cracked my impressions. This kind of reply (comment) is what I always refer to as “the other relevant and substantial part of the story”. I love this reply from http://omgvivienlopez.wordpress.com/ and I am posting it here:
- omgvivienlopez says on December 9, 2012 at 1:26 am
I wish I still have this kind of faith. But perhaps, the real Santas are those people we encounter randomly, every day, with a random acts of kindness, no matter how small.
I find it interesting that you may be Muslim and I may be a baptized Catholic (yet a neutral, non-athiest/non-theist kind of person), we can be one in our outlook and perspectives of Santa. I agree that Christmas is just too commercialized these days; we all forget that each day should be one.
“At this time of the year, I know you have not been to any place yet as you are busy making a list and checking it twice. I wonder for whom your gifts are intended to after finding out who’s naughty or nice and good or bad. Are they for the nice and good children only, for the naughty and bad or for both? I ask this silly question however I know that you do not discriminate in the matter of giving gifts. But what are those gifts for if they were not meant as incentives for children to be nice and good? I leave everything to you and assume that you know better. (Lifted from “Letter to Santa Claus”).
Somehow, you can’t keep me from wondering why you keep doing what you do? What do you get in return? And why do you leave Mrs. Claus all alone, out in the cold, on Christmas Eve? I think that is quite unkind of you to stay away from your loved ones on a night that is supposed to be special.” (Lifted from “Letter to Santa Claus”).
This got me thinking, you know, that kindness is supposed to be unconditional, like love, and not some sort of incentive. Or is this because Santas are our parents, stealthily placing gifts in the middle of the night so children would behave? But truth be told, sometimes we just have to be generous and thoughtful just so, not just because someone is being good. At times, perhaps, giving something great to people who are “bad” or “naughty’ makes you a better person if not at par with Santa Claus.
This is too much of a classical conditioning.
Now, this is more like what I wish Santa would address:
“I hope you are safe, Santa. More than your safety though, I wish that what you do makes you happy. I know a lot of people who are unhappy. I think they are stressed by selfishness, greed, pride and vanity, arrogance, envy or simply by their unfortunate circumstances. I wish you could give them happiness instead of material gifts which do not guarantee long and lasting joy. I really wish gift-giving isn’t so materialistic this time. In fact if I had known that you also give PEACE as a gift, I would rather prefer that over anything else. That is so wanting in our Mindanao or probably in the whole world now.” (Lifted from “Letter to Santa Claus”).
Yet happiness is a choice, or a perspective. It’s true that many people are not happy because of their own demons, so to say. Very well said and very well written.
Now, if only the world would realize everyone can be Santa Claus, giving because it makes us happy when we see others smile, because sharing with a fellow human being is love, and because love is that thing that makes mankind survive as a species, this world will, no doubt, be the best and most liveable among the known habitable planets of the universe.
And yes, we might as well turn to Santa for his gift of PEACE, if others – who are charged or supposed to take responsibility, continue to frustrate us in our quest for peace. I feel for our brethren in Mindanao, and in some parts of this troubled world.
Well, you had me thinking too. This is yet the most exhaustive and very profound comment I ever got for this post. Once in a while, it’s really good to have this kind of comment. This has been what I always call “the other relevant and more substantial side” of the story.
I would like to believe that if all comments could just be like this, posts do not have to be necessarily long and winding. Some people, like you out there, are willing to share time and talent to make them (posts) more substantial, more interesting, more meaningful and more likeable.
I cannot thank you enough for this very well-thought out comment. It made me feel like I was ‘Freshly Pressed’ for the first time ever.