|No snow for us--just cold!|
Because I love this time of year, I thought I’d give you a review of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SANTA CLAUS, by (as told to) Jeff Guinn. This is not a new book, but came out in 2003. In fact, Jeff Guinn now has three follow-up books available. I read the first of the series several years ago. Don’t worry, this review does not contain spoilers.
I was relieved to learn the Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas tradition was not merely a marketing ploy concocted by Madison Avenue, or whatever its predecessor was. There really was a Saint Nicholas in the fourth century, and he really did go about giving gifts! He was a Bishop of the church in Myra and traveled around his area of Lycia in Asia Minor. His feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is December 6th, and he is also acknowledged by other churches. Okay, he didn’t crawl down chimneys. Back then, homes didn’t have actual chimneys as we know them. Many just had a hole in the roof. They also didn't have glass on the windows. Not too cozy in bad weather.
I prefer the second version because it explains why we hang stockings by the fire for Santa to fill. When I was a child, my brother and I used our dad's heavy winter socks to hang. Since we didn't have a fireplace, we hung them on a nail in the window frame. Not idyllic, but it worked. It never occurred to us that on very cold days our dad had to wear socks with a hole in them. Oops, I digressed again.
|Modern Santa Claus|
Remarkable that Saint Nicholas showed such compassion in a time when the poor were looked down upon or ignored. Remarkable that doing good created so much notoriety and controversy and gave him a permanent place in history. Remarkable that we continue his legacy by giving to those we love and, hopefully, to those in need. Whether you call him Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, thanks for continuing his legacy.
I do believe in Santa Claus. I do!
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