“Who is he?”
This is what the expression on Lily’s face was clearly trying to say when I took her to visit father Christmas at the weekend. Safe to say she didn’t seem very impressed.
She’s nearly 15 months old and I thought it might be a nice Christmas activity for her to do and something the rest of the family would enjoy too. I think she’s still a bit to young to understand, but it made me think, who actually is santa? Where did this legend even come from?
The most common story behind Santa comes from the original St Nicholas who lived in Turkey during the 4th Century. He was the bishop of a place called Myra and it is said that he performed a number of miracles during his life, in particular for children and sailors. After his death, he became the patron saint to both of these groups and was given his own feast day which was originally December 6th.
Over the years that followed, Pope Julius I established that on December 25th each year, there would be celebrations for the birth of Jesus. Over time, people began to associate the two holidays together with the eventual story of St Nicholas visiting on christmas eve to distribute miracles or gifts now, to all the children of the world.
Other parts of the world have different stories and origins. America has a story of the tradition of Santa being brought over by Dutch settlers and it was in America that the recognisable red coat became a symbol after it was used by Coca Cola for their now iconic Christmas adverts.
Was fun to learn a little bit behind the story of St Nicholas and his visits. Hopefully, Lily will be just as interested when she’s older. Think we may try again with the visit to Santa next year!
Until next time…