Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve or during the early morning hours of Christmas Day.
It is during this time of the year when there is celebration around the world. Your travel overseas often proved doubly delightful when your overseas visits coincided with Christmas and New Year festivities. The myth of Santa Claus has enthralled children and even adults for a long time. The figure of Santa Claus has been the beacon of hope for crying children, was the reason used by parents to encourage their children to be good for the year and has become the universal symbol for laughter and joy. The “Real” Santa Claus blurs the boundary between reality and fiction.
Waiting for the Santa to visit home on a winter night with carol singers and receiving a surprise gift at a party from the white bearded man is something that everyone looks forward to during Christmas, especially children. The Santa Claus is the most sought after person. Donning the role of Santa Claus, depicted as a fat, jolly, white bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, red trousers, boots who goes around with a red bag slung behind, however, is no easy job. Greeting us with Finnish chocolates and the trademark, “Ho Ho Ho!”, the “Real Santa Claus” sat with a buoyant smile, personifying the spirit of Christmas.
Nobody wants to volunteer for the role. Besides dressing up in advance and being a fun loving person, Santa needs to know how to manage a mob of children, and part with the gift on the Christmas eve. Many churches identify youth to play the part; they fit in the role with well tucked pillow bags acting as tummy and loads of energy to keep them going for hours together. Finding a different person to dress up as Santa every year makes the choice tougher in many churches as the identity of the person inside the mask should not be guessed easily.
Santa is a much-loved part of both religious and secular celebrations of Christmas. Santa Claus is more than someone who just comes and gives you a present, it’s this whole spirit of giving and magic that you get to be a part of and celebrate. Parents have been talking to kids about Santa since 1986. Jewish children say they believe in Santa even if he doesn’t visit their house on Christmas Eve.
Many non-Christian parents embrace Santa because they see Christmas serving as a secular as well as religious holiday. Some experts say that another reason children believe in Santa is because they are imaginative and love to pretend. Experts have debated the Santa myth for years. Some argue that perpetuating it discourages healthy skepticism in children and requires adults to carry on an elaborate lie. Santa Claus entertains children on the eve of Christmas.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)