Many children are fascinated by the Christmas figure called Santa Claus. He is a popular figure in many Western cultures and is believed to enjoy gift-giving, especially during overnight hours of Christmas Eve. Even more, he is portrayed to be a jolly-looking, plump, white bearded man. He wears a red coat and is believed to travel from home to home in his sleigh, carrying loads of presents for children who behave well. This image is immensely popular and even commercialized, leading many people to associate Christmas with this jolly man. A commonly asked question is, “how Santa Claus came about?”
The modern day Santa is a fictional character made up two separate figures, namely Saint Nicholas (a bishop) and Father Christmas. Saint Nicholas is famous because he generously gives to the poor while Father Christmas may have been around since seventeenth century. He was portrayed as a bearded man dressed in a long, green robe. The origin of Santa Claus may have begun when the Dutch brought the legend of Saint Nicholas to America and the figure was then Americanized to portray a sailor with pipe, dressed in green winter coat. Santa appeared in different costumes and was portrayed as Father Christmas. However, the color that suited him best and gave rise to his popularity was red color. Since then, his horse was converted into reindeer figures. Elves and sleigh was added in to make the picture more surreal. In order to generate a more Christian-like image for the festivity, the celebration date was brought forward a few weeks, and eventually left settled on Christmas day. Modern Santa seems to encourage good behavior in children as they are promised a reward from Santa if they behaved well throughout the year. The image of Santa is immortalized in different songs with catchy tunes.
The origin of Santa Claus unveils an interesting story and a unique character. His kindly image is popularized through television and media channels. However, many people have divided opinions about him. Some strongly oppose to the tradition of believing in him, and yet there are others who continue to tell their children about him. One thing is certain- he will be around indefinitely because the culture is ingrained within Christmas. This is how Santa Claus came about.