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December 23, 2011 - Jodelle Greiner
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Drive safely if you are traveling. We want you to enjoy your “Visit From St. Nicholas.”
For those of you who are still struggling with how to explain to your children whether Santa Claus is real, you might want to tell them the story of Bishop Nicholas of Myra (the current country of Turkey), on whom the legend of our modern Santa Claus is based. Orphaned at an early age in the Third Century, young Nicholas inherited great wealth from his parents, with which he tried to help others.
There are several stories linked to Bishop Nicholas about the miracles he may have performed, but the one that’s most appropriate for children is about a poor man with three daughters. In those days, women had to have a dowry to bring to a marriage. The father had no money, meaning he could not offer his daughters in marriage. To save them from spinsterhood, the legend says that Nicholas gave each of the daughters a bag of gold. Some variations say he threw the bags in a window; others claim that in an effort to keep his identity a secret, he dropped the bags down the chimney, where at least one landed in the stocking a daughter had washed and hung to dry by the fire.
See where this is going?
Most cultures have some version of the Santa Claus legend, and the name changes depending on the language, the country and the tone of the legend.
Challenge your kids this Christmas break to find as many different names for Santa as they can and see how much they find out about the countries where those names originate.
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