Thursday 13: SANTA FACTS!!



13) Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey.

12) St. Nick typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, and was reflected in the “Ghost of Christmas Present” in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

11) In Washington Irving’s History of New York, (1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into “Santa Claus” but lost his bishop’s apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat.

10) Modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the publication of the poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (better known today as “The Night Before Christmas”) in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823 anonymously; the poem was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. In this poem Santa is established as a heavyset man with eight reindeer (who are named for the first time).

9) Images of Santa Claus were further popularized through Haddon Sundblom’s depiction of him for The Coca-Cola Company’s Christmas advertising in the 1930s.

8 )In an AP-AOL News poll, 86% of American adults believed in Santa as children, with the age of 8 being the average for stopping to believe he is real, although 15% still believed after the age of 10

7) “Is There a Santa Claus?” was the headline that appeared over an editorial in the September 20, 1897 edition of the New York Sun. The editorial, which included the response of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”, has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States.

6) The Dutch, under Peter Stuyvesant, founded New York – named New Amsterdam under the Dutch and renamed when the British took over the colony – and brought with them the celebrations of Sinterklaas, the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas. Santa Claus is the American pronunciation of Sinter Klaas.

5) In 1885, Nast sketched two children looking at a map of the world and tracing Santa’s journey from the North Pole to the United States. The following year, the American writer, George P. Webster, took up this idea, explaining that Santa’s toy factory and “his house, during the long summer months, was hidden in the ice and snow of the North Pole.”

4) In 1931 Haddon Sundblom presented Santa as a plump human rather than an elf, with a jovial face and big beard in a Coca-Cola advertisement. (Coca-Cola was a client of Sundblom’s advertising agency from 1924 to until his death in 1976.) Today, it is Sundblom’s Santa that slips down chimneys around the world.

3) Mrs. Claus was created in 1889 by Katherine Lee Bates, a poet and author of America the Beautiful. In her poem Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride, Goody is a shortened form of the word Goodwife.

2) Using data obtained from a worldwide network of radar and satellites in space, NORAD staff and more than 360 volunteers begin reporting on Santa’s progress at 5:00 a.m. MST. Real-time updates via e-mail, the Internet, and telecasts are transferred into streaming audio and video updates and then translated into French, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

1) Santa Claus is a symbol of the season and of the inherent good in all of us.  His work at the North Pole year-round is geared towards the Christmas mission, which is to spread love, hope and goodwill to children and adults alike all around the world.


Filed under Inez, misc., rambling

8 responses to “Thursday 13: SANTA FACTS!!

  1. I remembered several of these, but you dug up a couple of surprises, too. 🙂

    Is it okay if I use some of these in a class next week? I think my students would find them interesting.

    Thanks for posting ’em!
    Happy TT!


  2. Santa is one of my favorite Christmas icons. Isn’t it weird the way he started off thin, then changed just because of Sunblom?

  3. What a cool list! Interesting facts! Happy Thursday! *HUGS*

  4. Jen

    Oh man!! These are awesome!!!!!!

  5. Excellent list, Inez! It seems a lot of us went with a Christmas theme this week. Happy Holidays!

  6. Santa is one of my favorites. I’ve learned some new stuff today. 🙂

  7. Fun list Inez. I love Santa. He makes my heart all squishy.

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