Who remembers the magic of Christmas? Writing a letter to Santa? Leaving out cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots and an apple for the reindeer? Waking up Christmas morning to presents that definitely weren’t there when you went to bed?
The History of Santa
It starts with the legend of St. Nicholas who was legend to have given away all his wealth to the poor and sick.
If you’re like me, you likely had little knowledge on where Santa came from. I did some research and here’s a (very) simple breakdown. As his popularity spread, he became known as the protector of children. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas became the most popular saint in Europe.
1773 marked the first reporting’s of St. Nicholas in America, referencing Dutch families honoring his death. Dutch for Saint Nicholas is Sint Nikolaas, creating the nickname Sinter Klass. This is what has evolved into what we now refer to as Santa Claus.
It wasn’t until 1822 that Santa as we know him came about. Clement Clarke Moore wrote “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” Can you guess what long poem this is? It is more commonly known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” In 1881 Thomas Nast, cartoonist, drew Moore’s poem, creating the first images of what we now recognize as Santa.
Stores began advertising Christmas shopping in 1820, and it became its own beast by the 1840’s.
Do You Believe?
Now, who remembers the bigger kids tell you Santa wasn’t real? Looking at Santa’s handwriting and wondering if it looks just like mom or dads handwriting? Trying to match the wrapping paper?
Since I was a child my parents always played into the Christmas spirit and hyped Santa up.
We watched the NORAD Santa Tracker. My dad made the videos from Santa where he would say our name, a fact about us, and what we wanted for Christmas. My parents would eat half the cookies and take a big bite out of the carrots. It was a spectacle and it was fabulous.
Around fifth grade the kids started saying Santa wasn’t real and I couldn’t believe it. I laughed along with the kids and agreed, like totally, but in my head, I was saying “no way, he’s real.”
By high school my mom admitted the Easter Bunny wasn’t real. Yes, it took sixteen years for my mom to tell me this. She even took me “Easter Bunny shopping” for my little sisters. I took this opportunity to say “Mom, you can tell me now. I know Santa isn’t real.” You know what her response was?! She looked at me bewildered, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, he’s real.”
To this day, I am about to be 26, and my parents will still not admit Santa isn’t real. My dad still pulls up the NORAD radar every year, and a heap of presents appear under the tree overnight.
Here I am.
Almost 26 and honestly questioning, might Santa be real?
Part of me believes this is what keeps the magic alive. That all of us, no matter what we “know” still have a hope that Santa is real.
How long did you believe in Santa? What do you think makes Christmas magical?
Thank you so much to Rachel for gust posting for todays blogmas post. Please go and share some love on her block and social media, she is amazing and this post really made me feel the magic of christmas again.
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