The idea of Santa Claus is the stuff of legend. It had its roots in the tradition associated with Nicholas, bishop of Myra (an ancient city along the Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey.) Six hundred years after he died, because of stories that circulated about himAD_93889_SANTAJESUS, Nicholas’ bones were stolen and brought to Bari, Italy. There the legend about his gifts to children grew and the celebration of his birthday of December 6 was observed. German stories about Kristkringle and Dutch stories about Sinterklass eventually merged into a figure that brought gifts to children each December. The Germans, the Dutch, and others brought their Nicholas traditions to the New World. Eventually, they were developed by creative American minds into the modern stories of Santa Claus. One of the key steps in this development was the children’s poem written in 1822 by a Union Seminary professor named Clement Clark Moore. The title of the poem was “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and it began with the famous line: “Twas the night before Christmas.”

Aren’t you glad that the real Christmas story is not legend, but historical fact. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…”

(Brian’s Lines, November/December 2002, p.25)

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This entry was posted in Christianity, Christmas, God's Word, Holidays, Jesus, scripture, Uncategorized, Worship. Bookmark the permalink.

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