The Truth about Santa Claus.

Dec 11, 2009

“Santa is not real!” my best friend Tanya revealed to me a week before Christmas.

 She was twelve and I was ten then. I was taken aback by this revelation.

The very first thought that crossed my mind was who will give me my Christmas gifts with no real Santa Claus?

 Surprised and confused I asked her my obvious immediate doubts.

“If Santa is not real then who is this big old man in the red suit, who gives us our gifts every Christmas? Do you think I’ll get my gift this year with no real Santa?” I asked worriedly

“Oh you are just a kiddo yet” Tanya Laughed looking at my surprised face.

“Santa Claus is just some old man our adults created to keep us at our best behavior by telling us that only if you are good, Santa will give you your Christmas gifts, they think we are still kids and don’t understand anything. And please you don’t get so worried. You will surely get your gift like every year, because in reality it is our parents who give them to us.” She explained calmly

I always believed almost everything Tanya said to me. After all she was my best friend. But No real Santa Claus, that was not something I would not believe so easily. He was the one who got me my favorite toys every year. So definitely I was not going to give up that easily.

 “We see him everywhere during Christmas; we hear his name in Christmas carols, read his stories and see his picture on every other Christmas card, so how can Santa Claus be just some old man?” I argued, defending my belief.

Tanya brushed my question aside and had me wondering with her mountain of questions.

“Just think about it” she said “We all get our gifts on Christmas Eve, how do you think Santa gets into every child’s house in just one night? Do you even know how many children are there in this world? How does he enter your house at night when all the doors and windows are locked and you don’t even have a chimney? And how does Santa Claus ride in the sky? Reindeers can’t fly? They don’t even have wings, so there is no way they can fly across the sky in a sleigh. Trust me, Santa Claus is a story, just like the other stories. He is just not real.”

It did make sense I realized in disappointment. I waited that Christmas night to see my parents leave my gift under my pillow.

That year my best friend convinced me that the gifts I received every year were from my parents and not from Santa Claus

However I was never convinced by Tanya’s answer as to who this big old man in the red suit is. He could not be just some old man. With every Christmas I always wondered how Santa Claus came into existence if he is not real. What is his story? Is he only a myth?  Come with me along the highway of history as we see how Santa came to be the way he is.

Santa Claus is known by different names in different places. He is known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Sinterklaas and Kris Kringle. As to the question who really Santa Claus is? He is a variation of Dutch folk tale which is based on historical figure Saint Nicholas, a Bishop from Myra in Turkey. His parents passed away leaving young Nicholas a substantial amount of inheritance. Nicholas decided he wants to use the money to help people in need. Not long after this decision, he came upon a family in need. A father of three girls had lost his fortune and he could not provide his daughters dowries. In those days it meant the three women had no hope for marriage. Subsequently the father decided to sell them into prostitution

When Nicholas heard of the family’s predicament, he secretly visited their home by night, throwing a bag of gold coins through the window. He repeated his covert act of charity three times. During his third visit the father discovered Nicholas’ identity and expressed his thankfulness. St. Nicholas went on to assist the needy, the sick and the suffering, often anonymously. His generous charity gave rise to many unconfirmed legends throughout the centuries.

The name Santa Claus for St. Nicholas, as most of us know him today originated when the Dutch form of the name Sinterklaas was mispronounced by English settlers of New York as Santa Claus in the early 17th century.

Today we see Santa Claus as a plump, jolly, white bearded man wearing a red coat. He was not always depicted like this. Originally St. Nicholas was portrayed wearing a bishop’s robe. The Modern day image of Santa Claus was actually elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nate for Christmas issues of a magazine from 1860s to 1880s. As soon as the first magazine was published people wanted to know more about the mysterious Santa Claus. People, especially children wanted to know where Santa Claus came from, where did he lived when he was not delivering presents? This is when Nast added details like Santa lives in the North Pole where his Christmas gift workshop is located and his elves make toys throughout the year to be ready for Christmas and he also added the very famous Santa’s list of good and bad children.

In the year 1931 a human size version of Santa Claus was created by Coca-Cola for a series of advertisement promoting their products. Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer, the ninth reindeer who pulls Santa’s Sledge was created in the year 1939 by an advertising writer for the Montgomery Ward company.

So this is how over the centuries, the ageless and timeless Santa Claus and his auxiliary’s came into being.

This unquestionably answered my doubts as to who the old man in the red suit is. However at the end of this fact finding journey my belief in Santa Claus has only grown stronger. For me he is a legend who brings magic, excitement and anticipation into the life of not only children but all of us every Christmas. He demonstrates giving without expecting anything in return. He is in the spirit of goodwill and an example of the true meaning of Christmas. Whenever we do a good deed and help people in need, the spirit of Santa Claus lives within us. And that’s exactly the Truth about Santa Claus. 

Vinesha D'Mello - Archives:

by Vinesha D'Mello Atlanta
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Comment on this article

  • Cyril D, Pernal/Shirva

    Tue, Dec 15 2009

    Hay Vinesha, really, really Excellent and hard work! i am proud of you keep it up and expecting more from you!

  • Kiran Yuvaraj, Kirehalli,Sakleshpur

    Tue, Dec 15 2009

    Hi Vinesha...! One of my brother asked me same question as "Who is Santa? nd its story..?" but really im unable to answer tat question bz i too dnt knw truth..! after tat i didnt took any effort to find answer nw i got to knw truth abt santa also i told same to my its very useful keep it up..Thanks..Happy Christhmas to u....

  • Ajit Costa, Halealve/Muscat

    Mon, Dec 14 2009

    Keep it up, nice article.

  • Padmanabha Shenoy, Udupi / Saudi Arabia

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    Dear Vinesha, Thanks for the article as I was really not knowing origin of Santa. Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Samson Martis, Mumbai/Hong Kong

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    Hey Vinesha, Excellent article and good to know on the history of Santa Claus. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

  • ANIL, Cardiff/Halealve

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    He Vinesha, This too was an excellent article.At this point in time,when Santa has become just another old man,this article revealed a lot about his identity. Merry Christmas.Hope all your wishes come true this christmas through Santa.

  • cleevan lozil, pernal/ dubai

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    Dear, nice one!!its nice to knnow about santa claus!! wish to see some more frm u.. happy xmass and new year ahead..

  • Vally & Sunita, Dubai/ moodubelle

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    Hi Venisha, Nice and timely article. it is good know the history Santa Claus. very informitive article and very well written. Good keep writing. regards & well wishes Vally & sunita

  • vijetha jessica, dubai,UAE

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    nice one !!

  • Peter Pereira, Naravi/Kuwait

    Sat, Dec 12 2009

    Article ಬೊರೆ ಚಪ್ಲಾಯ್ ಬಾಯೇ ........... ಪ್ಲೀಸ್ ತುಜಾ ಬುರ್ಗ್ಯಾಂಕ್ ಉಷಾ ಪೊಂದಾಕ್ ಗಿಫ್ಟ್ ದೊವೊರ್ನ್ ಸಾಂತಕ್ಲೊಸನ್ ದಿಲ್ಲೇನ್ ಮುಣ್ ಫೋಟಿ ಮಾರಿನಕ ....... Expecting more Articles from u wish u a happy X'mas and new year. God bless you.

  • sunil, brisbane

    Fri, Dec 11 2009

    Today the real reason of Christmas has disappeared and the devil has been very successful in taking Christ out of Christmas by using X which many believers are ignorant off. The best gift to this world by the creator was wrapped in rags in a manger and only he is the real source of real gifts and the best gift was the free gift of salvation which be purchased on the cross for those who believe in him and which cant be bought by doing good or believing in Santa. Lets celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ though he wasn't born on December 25Th, instead of emphasizing Santa or the Christmas tree. Let Jesus be the reason for the Season. Remember followers in Christ, Jesus said, my people perish because of lack of wisdom! so be aware of the time and rejoice in the goodness of our Lord and Saviour. Happy Christmas to all...... Maranatha

  • Nathaline D'Souza, Halealve/Piusnagar

    Fri, Dec 11 2009

    Dear Venisha. Very nice article.. God Bless you.. Keep smiling:)

  • Sunil D'cunha, U.K

    Fri, Dec 11 2009

    Christmas is Jesus Christ's birthday but it seems materialistic world is busy projecting so called santa clause as the star.....

  • Alex Lobo, Bangalore /New Zealand

    Fri, Dec 11 2009

    Well Done Vinesha, good info. There are different stages in a Christian life. One you belive in Santa Clause and second you become Santa Clause.

  • Joel, Mangalore/Dubai

    Fri, Dec 11 2009

    Good work Vinesha. I liked the movie "The Polar Express" which was a good movie. @ Alwyn: It is Christmas and not XMas. You just cannot strike out Christ out of Christmas. That simply cannot happen. not to mention there is absolutely no abbreviation for Christ as "X" in any dictionary.


    Fri, Dec 11 2009


  • Mariette Rony, Mangalore, Kuwait

    Fri, Dec 11 2009

    excellent article and useful Excellent article and very useful information, dear Vinesha D'mello. It is good to know about santa's origin so we can answer any questions from anyone boldly. Thanx again.

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