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St. Nicholas is thought to be a fine old saint in the church, but not so.  It is true that there may have been a Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who lived in the fourth century and was said to have helped the poor.  But Santa Claus was named after another “old Nick”.

The legend of Santa Claus is quite similar to those of the ancient Egyptian god, Bes.  Bes was a short rotund god who was said to give gifts to children.  They were told he lived en the far north, where he spent most of the year making toys for them.

The Roman god, Saturn, was similar- and probably copied from Bes. He too was said to live in the northern most part of the world, making gifts for children who were good.  The Romans said he was the one who, each December, brought them the gifts of the New Year.

The names, “Santa Claus” and “Kriss Kringle.”do not go as far back into history.  “Sant Nikolaas” (Sant-Ni-Klaus) and “Kriss Kringle” are from German “Christ Krindl” or “Christ Child”.   So we have here a counterfeit Christ.

Parents punish their children for telling falsehoods, and then tell them this big one in December!  Later, when their children are grown, they wonder why they question the existence of God.

Teach your children about JESUS CHRIST- their best friend, their only Saviour, and the only One who can really bring them the gifts they need.  Do not waste time telling them myths; lest, when they grow older, they will not believe the realities you tell them of.

THE ORIGIN OF SANTA CLAUS   “When the Dutch came to America and established the colony of New Amsterdam, their children enjoyed the traditional ‘visit of Saint Nicholas” on December 5; for the Dutch had kept this ancient Catholic custom even after the Reformation.  Later, when England took over the colony and it became New York, the kindly figure of Sinter Klaas (pronounced Santa Claus) soon aroused among the English children the desire of having such a heavenly visitor come to their homes, too.

The English settlers were glad and willing to comply with the anxious wish of their children.  However, the figure of a Catholic saint and bishop was not acceptable in their eyes, especially since many of them were Presbyterians, to whom a bishop was repugnant.  In addition they did not celebrate feasts of saints according to the ancient Catholic calendar.

The dilemma was solved by transferring the visit of the mysterious man whom Dutch called Santa Claus from December 5 to Christmas, and by introducing a radical change in the figure itself.  It was not merely a ‘disguise’, but the ancient saint was completely replaced by an entirely different character.  Behind the name Santa Claus actually stands the figure of the pagan Germanic god Thor (after whom Thursday is named). 

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