This week we take a break from our more serious topics to celebrate the holidays and explore the nature and origins of Santa Claus. From a 3rd century monk named Saint Nicholas to the familiar depiction given to us by Thomas Nast to the classic portrayal in Clement C. Moore’s poem all the way up to the familiar department store Santa’s kids line up to talk to every year we look at Santa through the years. We also compare Christmas traditions from around the world and look for similarities that link them all together. Ultimately we address the burning questions of “Is Santa Claus real” and “Do you believe in Santa Claus”. We close with a very special creative presentation from all of our hosts for this joyous holiday.
Thank you to all of our viewers over these past 46 episodes. We’ll be taking a brief hiatus and will be back after the new year with more great podcasts. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone!
Speaker 1: 00:01 Insightful pocket by informative insights, a podcast network.
Speaker 3: 00:26 Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.
Speaker 4: 00:51 Welcome to insights into teens. This is episode 46 Santa Claus. I’m your host, Joseph Wayland and my brilliant and beautiful cohost, Madison Waylon. Hello, how are you doing today Maddie? So today we’re going to have a little bit of fun today. No serious topics or anything. This is the last episode we have before we go on holiday break. We will be away for a couple of weeks. We’ll be back in the new year with our next podcast after this one. So this week we are talking Santa Claus. So before we get into that you had something special at school this week then you, I did. You did last night. It was a holiday theme. Same thing.
Speaker 5: 01:48 Oh yeah, my concert. Oh my God. I didn’t know you were referring new.
Speaker 4: 01:54 That’s okay. So you had your, where a concert last night and you play, you’re in band, correct? Yep. And you play what instrument and what songs did you guys do last night?
Speaker 5: 02:07 Well, the first song well the first part of it was the band and the first song we did was our Anthem, the star Spangled banner. Then Christmas themed. Yeah. Then the eighth graders did a song, I don’t remember the name. Do you remember the name? I don’t remember the name. Neither do I. And then the drummers, the seventh grade drummers did their version of jingle bells, which was pretty cool. I like that. Then the, all the seventh graders did winter celebration, which is a combination of DEXA halls, the first Noel and we wish you a Merry Christmas and it was very well done. Yep. And the eighth graders then did sleigh but sleigh ride. And then that was the end of our part. And then there was the four different, three different types of choir. Yes. Had seventh
Speaker 4: 03:00 Grade concert choir, you had the afterschool concert group and then the eighth grade and then the eighth grade. Consequently, I think they did fantastic. Did ever did a really good job there. A choral director has very enthusiastic. I like that, but it was nice. It was a nice concert, was about an hour and a half long. And you know, it sounded really good. You guys did a really good job. So today we were talking Santa Claus. So we’re going to talk about who Santa Claus is. We’re going to talk about the origins of Santa Claus. Then we’ll take a look at your prototypical shopping mall Santa. We’ll talk a little bit about twas the night before Christmas, the poem from Clement Clarke Moore. Then we will talk a little bit about Santa Claus around the world because Santa is a little bit different depending on where you are. And then we’ll talk about some Christmas traditions in the U S and then we’ll ask the burning questions.
Speaker 4: 04:05 Is Santa Claus real and do you believe in Santa Claus? And I think both of us will have a chance to answer those questions. Cool. So, and then afterwards stick around because we have a very special holiday treat that all of our hosts have done for our audience. And we’ll be playing that at the end of the show. It’s only about a five minute clip or so, but I think everyone will enjoy it. So are we ready to get into the holiday spirit? Oh, by the way big thanks to Madison and mommy Michelle from our insights and entertainment podcast for doing the set decorations that you see today to get us into the festive mood. You guys did a fantastic job with this as well, especially digging out my Santa Darth Vader. That’s awesome. So are we ready to get into it? All right, let’s do it. So who or what is Santa Claus? Now this definition comes from the history channels, a definition that history.com Santa Claus, otherwise known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle has a long history steeped in Christmas traditions today. He is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to boys and girls on Christmas Eve. But his story stretches all the way back to the third century when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the painter and Saint of children. So it’s a very storied history. You aware that?
Speaker 5: 06:00 I was aware that there was some historical backstory towards Santa Claus, but I never really looked too deep into it.
Speaker 4: 06:08 Okay. well I think part of what we’re going to do today is going to be kind of a deep dive into who Santa Claus really is. And we’ll start off by talking about Saint Nicholas. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about who Saint Nicholas is?
Speaker 5: 06:32 All right. So the lesson of Santa Claus can be traced back to a hundreds of back, hundreds of year. Sorry, I can’t speak to the lunchtime of Santa Claus can be tracked back hundreds of years to a monk named Saint Nicholas is believed that Saint Nicholas was born sometime around
Speaker 5: 06:53 280 a D in modern day Turkey.
Speaker 4: 06:56 Now, just to put that into perspective, the Roman empire was still around at that time. So the Roman empire didn’t fall until the five hundreds. So that’s how far back the concept of Saint Nicholas goes. It’s, it’s a real, you know, based on a real person. Tell us a little bit more.
Speaker 5: 07:15 It has said that he gave away all his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick.
Speaker 4: 07:23 So that kind of gives us the concept of charity and giving and taking care of fellow man. Right? Yeah. So what else do we know about them
Speaker 5: 07:34 Over the course of many years? Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors.
Speaker 4: 07:42 Not really sure how the two of those are linked. But sure. We’ll go with that.
Speaker 5: 07:48 Yeah. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, which
Speaker 4: 07:54 Why I guess their value, very celebratory when you die. And what day is that by the way? September, December, December six. So we get a connection to December and Saint Nicholas and Christmas with that. Yeah. And what else do we know?
Speaker 5: 08:13 You are traditionally considered a low, it was traditional. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or get married.
Speaker 4: 08:22 And so there’s another piece of the puzzle there. So December six, the feast day of Saint Nicholas was a lucky day to make large purchases. So even back in Roman times, we were commercializing Saint Nicholas. So, so Saint Nicholas was a real person and he really did exist. He had a reputation for caring for children. There were several stories and doing the research in which he would help monetarily. Like in one case there was a father who had two daughters and was very poor, didn’t have any money, and he was going to have to basically sell his daughters off into slavery if he couldn’t come up with money for a dour in and back in the time fathers paid dowries to suitors or to husbands to marry their daughters and he couldn’t afford to do that. And Saint Nicholas swooped in, save the day, paid the dowry for the, for the daughters and the daughters wound up getting married off instead of being sold in the slavery. So just another sign to say, both of those instances of you would get married, offered, get turned to slavery. They both don’t sound good. Well they don’t. But you have to understand this is almost 2000 years ago too. So society was very different at the time. Yeah. So moving from Saint Nicholas, we move into the concepts of Santa Claus. So we’ll do that when we come back.
Speaker 4: 10:02 So Saint Nicholas made his first appearance in American pop culture towards the end of the 18th century. In December, 1773 and again, in 74, a New York newspaper reported the groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. The name of Santa Claus evolve from the Dutch names Sinterklaas, a shortened form of Saint Nicholas or Sint Nicholas, which was Dutch for Saint Nicholas. And in 1809, Washington Irving, a famous American author helped the popular eyes, the Sinterklaas stories when he referred to Saint Nicholas as the patron Saint of New York in his book, the history of New York. Now an interesting thing to mention here also is that after the Protestant reformation, which occurred in the 16 hundreds in England that was when England switched over from Catholicism to Protestantism. And the church of England comes into play later on. Catholicism believed heavily instincts. There was a Saint for everything.
Speaker 4: 11:27 Saint Christopher for this and st this, for that and, and so forth. So a lot of the Catholic religion revered saints. And when the Protestants came in the power they thought that was sacrilege. Like you shouldn’t worship these other people. You should worship God and, and Jesus and so forth. So as a result, the, the Protestants came in and sort of did away with most Christmas traditions. So by the time you get to 17, 73, a lot of what happens in the colonies and what happens in England, you don’t have a lot of Christmas traditions there, but those traditions continued elsewhere, such as in the Netherlands where the Dutch live in, in Germany, they continue. So when we think of Christmas, Christmas didn’t really exist the way that we think in, in England at this time. It’s not until a couple of hundred years later that it sort of comes back to life. So moving on from Santa Claus, we get what we have today as what we consider the shopping mall Santas. And, and we’ll talk a little bit about that when we get .
Speaker 4: 12:51 So gift-giving mainly centered around children and has been an important part of the Christmas celebration since the early 19th century. Stories began to advertise stores, sorry, stores began to advertise Christmas shopping in 1820 and by the 1840s, newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements. Now another interesting thing to note here is that prior to the 18 hundreds Christmas was really more like new years then like Christmas. So it was a big giant party. You know, the famous song, 12 days at Christmas, Christmas lasted 12 days and it was a 12 day party and people would drink and be Merry and get drunk and get rowdy. And you had all kinds of problems. Imagine new year’s and you see how crazy New York city gets on new years. Imagine it being like that for 12 days. So what happened was in order to get away from that in the 18 hundreds you had people trying to take those traditions and turn them more towards family oriented things, making the holiday more for the children.
Speaker 4: 14:20 And that led us into the commercialization of Christmas. Alrighty. So in 1841 thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life size Santa Claus model. Now what does Santa Claus look like? Well, from then on, it was only a matter of time before stores began to attract children and their parents with the lore of alive Santa Claus. And Santa Claus was kind of a novelty at this point in time because you really didn’t see a lot of them in publications or stories he had, he came out in some stories and stuff. In the early 1890s, the salvation army, which is a charitable organization, needed money to pay for the free meals, the Christmas meals that they provided the families. So they began to dress up unemployed men in Santa Claus, suits and send them into the streets of New York to solicit donations to pay for these meals, which was kind of a creative way to turn the Christmas idea into charity here.
Speaker 4: 15:34 So the most iconic department store Santa Claus was Kris Kringle, was what he was named. And he appeared in the classic 1947 Santa Claus movie miracle on 34th street. That’s since been remade. But that story involved a little girl who believes Kris Kringle when he tells her that he’s real Santa Claus. The the Macy’s Santa has appeared in almost every Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade since then, since the parade began in 1924. And he’s always the last one. You know, in the parade Thanksgiving day, we’re up at Jamal’s. We watched a parade and who’s everyone went for at the end of that parade, not Santa Claus, right? So fans of all ages still line up to meet Santa and New York city and it stores around the country where children can take pictures on SANAS lap. And tell him what they want for Christmas, which it sounds a little strange. We’re going to go tell a stranger what you want for Christmas. But
Speaker 5: 16:41 Yeah, honestly I definitely think as you get older, the thing about Santa Claus, just the logic gets new brand and you’re just like, okay, this is creepy.
Speaker 4: 16:52 Exactly. Exactly. I just think I know that stage. So when we come back, I want you to tell us a little bit about was the night before Christmas and how that got Santa Claus a little more defined for us. So tell us about twas the night before Christmas.
Speaker 5: 17:13 So in 1822 Clement Clarke Moore what is it a minister, minister wrote a long Christmas poem, first three daughters and titled it a visit from Saint Nicholas, more popular, known as towards the night before Christmas ahead Maura’s poem, which, which he was in totally hesitant to publish, initially hesitant to publish due to the frivolity frivolity for Rolla frivolity, frivolity nature of his, of its subject. It’s is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a right jelly Odell with a portly figure and the super natural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head. Although, although some of Moore’s imagery was probably borrowed from other sources, his film had popularized and that the now famous image of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve in a miniature sleigh led by eight flying Mandir to leave presence for deserving children. A visit from Saint Nicholas created a new and immediately popular American icon in 1881 political cartoonists, Thomas Nass, drew on Moore’s poem to create the first likeness that matches our modern image of Santa Claus.
Speaker 4: 18:55 Now that image happens to look sorta like this. That’s a colorized version of it. But in the poem twas the night before Christmas Clement Clarke Moore talks about a ripe jolly old elf. Well, Santa Claus these days isn’t really an elf. And even in this picture, this early picture from the 18 hundreds from Thomas Nast, he’s not enough here. He’s a person. So the image of what Santa Claus is has evolved significantly over time. And what we have today is kind of a combination of all of that. So his cartoon, which appeared in Harper’s weekly depicted Santa as a red rotund, cheerful man with a full white beard holding a sack Laden with toys for lucky children. And that’s really what we’re largely stuck with today from our traditional sense of Santa Claus. It’s an ass to gave Santa’s his bright red suit trimmed with white far North pole workshop elves, his wife, mrs clause. So all of the narrative that surrounds the mythology and the story of Santa Claus kind of originated from Thomas Nast and that was kind of a collection of a bunch of other stories, including twas the night before Christmas. So it’s kind of pulled together from different cultures. Now when we come back, we’re going to talk about some of these cultures and we’re going to talk about what this concept of Santa Claus is in these other cultures.
Speaker 4: 20:49 So in the 18th century, America, Santa Claus was not the only Saint Nicholas inspired gift giver to make an appearance at Christmas time. There’s similar figures and Christmas traditions around the world. Why don’t you tell us about some of these?
Speaker 5: 21:05 Okay. So Chris kine, if, sorry, I can’t speak today. So Chris or Chris Crangle was believed to deliver presence to well behaved Swiss and German children, meaning Christian Christ child. Chris kine is an angel, like figure, often accompanied by Saint Nicholas on his holiday missions.
Speaker 4: 21:30 So in Switzerland and Germany, Kris Kringle is kind of a companion to Saint Nicholas. And in other cultures, like for instance, in the United States, you get someone like a Jack Frost who’s kind of like a mischievous companion of Santa Claus who represents winter, right? Yeah. So tell us a little bit more about international Santa.
Speaker 5: 22:00 I’m in Scandinavia, a jolly elf named jaunt men. . Your was thought to deliver gifts in our sleigh drawn by goats.
Speaker 4: 22:12 So there’s some similarity there. And I don’t, I don’t know if those goats fly. It would be interesting to see flying goats or flying donkey like in Shrek. I guess that would work too. What else do we have?
Speaker 5: 22:26 English sloughed, English legend explains that father Christmas visits each home on Christmas Eve to fill children’s stockings with holiday treats.
Speaker 4: 22:36 So now you have father Christmas in England. Now you’ll notice that none of these really have any kind of religious connotation to them. So there’s, there’s that disconnect from what Christmas is and what the spirit of Christmas is here. We’ll talk a little bit more about that way. We move on. What else do we have?
Speaker 5: 22:58 Peer Noel, right? Yep. Is responsible for filling the shoes of French children.
Speaker 4: 23:04 So we fill stockings, they fill shoes. So again, it’s another parallel that we have there. Yeah.
Speaker 5: 23:12 In Russia it is believed that an elderly woman name babushka babushka purposely gave the wise men wrong directions to Bethlehem so that they wouldn’t find Jesus.
Speaker 4: 23:27 So here is a religious connotation here. Now, you know, do you know who the three wise men were? Not. Okay.
Speaker 5: 23:34 They’re not, they’re not the wise.
Speaker 4: 23:36 They were not the wise guys. No. So in, in the story of Jesus’s birth, there are three wise men often refer to as three Kings. They were probably merchants or land owners or something along those lines. They probably weren’t Kings because Kings kind of traveled with the whole entourage at the time. Yeah, it was Casper, Milky or imbalance. Bizarre where their names and the legend has it that they saw this star in the East or was it the West? I don’t remember which direction. I, it didn’t have GPS back then. So they saw this star and they traveled to the star and the star was over Bethlehem, supposedly over the birthplace of Jesus. And it was a sign in ancient lure of the savior of man who would comm born under the star, et cetera, et cetera. So they came bearing gifts of frankincense, which is an incense, a Mer, which is an oil and gold, which is gold.
Speaker 4: 24:47 They would want that though. These were valuable tradable items at the time. That’s why people think that they were actually merchants and not so, because at the time these were spices, for instance, came from the East, the, you know, you you’ve heard of Marco polo. Marco polo was famous for opening the trade routes to China to bring spices. The oil was the same type of thing. It was a tradable commodity, as was gold. So to us, they probably don’t mean all that much to them. They were very valuable. And you also take into account the story of Jesus who was born in a manger because there was no room at the end and his parents didn’t have any money, et cetera, et cetera. Somebody walks up with a pile of golden, really expensive gifts. You don’t turn them away. Okay, makes sense. So in this scenario she gave them the wrong directions. So finish telling us about babushka
Speaker 5: 25:48 Later, she felt remorseful, but could not find the man to undo the damage. To this day, on January 5th babushka visits Russian children leaving gifts and at their bedsides in the hope that one of them is baby Jesus and she will be forgiven.
Speaker 4: 26:06 Right? So in Russia, they celebrate Christmas on July January 5th, January 5th also happens to be the epiphany, which we won’t get into the religious aspects of it here, but it’s a religious holiday. So there is a religious connotation there. You don’t have a Santa Claus figure, but you still have this figure who shows up to give gifts. And what’s the last example that we have
Speaker 5: 26:36 In Italy? A similar story exist about a woman called love, love of fauna, a kindly word who rides a broomstick down the chimneys of Italian homes to deliver tours to stockings of luckily to the, into the stockings of lucky children.
Speaker 4: 26:55 Now that one sounds a little bit more like a nightmare before Christmas with witches on broomsticks. But you see the similarity here is that she comes down the chimney. So you have a lot of these stories that are different but the same. There’s a lot of parallels between them, a lot of things that are, I wouldn’t go that far, but you have a lot of similarities because these are stories that are told over the course of hundreds of years and they’re passed down from generation to generation and they all change a little bit here and there. You have different names, different methods, different transportation types. But all in all, it’s the same basic story of once a year, you know, this, this charity and kindness to others. And this, this does this human desire to, to want to have peace and love and, and giving for people. So it all kind of centers around what we like to call today, the Christmas spirit. So when we come back, we’ll take a look at some of the Christmas traditions in the United States. In the United States, Santa Claus is often depicted as flying from his home as, as flying from home to home on Christmas Eve to deliver toys to children. You and I both know that he flies on his magic sleigh led by his reindeer. And who are they?
Speaker 5: 28:35 Dasher dancer, Prancer, Vixen, comet Cupid dander
Speaker 4: 28:40 Donner here,
Speaker 5: 28:41 Donna blitz in, and the most famous reindeer Evolver.
Speaker 4: 28:45 Now you did stumble over Donner here because what we learned was that in the poem, it was the night before Christmas, it was originally where they were named. It was originally the name of Dondre, not Donner. So we just talked about how the stories change across cultures and you get a little bit of little differences here and there. Yeah. Well this is the one that stayed within a culture and it still changed a little bit from Dondre to Donner. So that just sort of highlights how things change. A little bit like playing Ted, the telephone game, you know, ass and messages from one person to another. So Santa enters each home through the chimney, which I never had a fireplace. So our chimney went right into our furnace. So I never could figure that one out. But he’s magical. So you’re not supposed to figure it out. Yeah. This is why empty Christmas stockings, which were originally empty socks would now they’re dedicated stockings made for the occasion, are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas would be there as Clement Clarke Moore wrote in his poem. Now the interesting thing here is back in Victorian times, you would wash your socks but you couldn’t hang them outside the dry cause it was too cold out. So you could hang them by the fireplace.
Speaker 4: 30:10 The fireplace would dry him. So that’s where the idea of hanging stockings to get filled by Santa Claus ski from. Make sense? Yeah. See, so a lot of these traditions kind of have these make sense sort of ideas behind them. So the stockings can be filled with candy gains and other treats or small toys. Although I would not recommend filling them with chocolate if you’re hanging in them by the fireplace. Yeah, just don’t hang anything that’s meltable. That’s probably a good, good piece of advice. Santa Claus and his wife, mrs. Clause called the North pole home and children write letters to Santa and track SANAS progress around the world on Christmas Eve. You just got to say is also kind of creepy. Well, and there is an interesting story about that. So people track Santa’s through NORAD. NORAD is the North American aerospace defense command. So this was a military branch of our armed forces that was set up back in the forties and 50s and it was a cooperative branch of military between the United States and Canada.
Speaker 4: 31:26 And these were the guys who monitored all the radar and all the defense networks to find out if anyone was trying to fly over our country, namely Russia. So the way the story goes is Christmas Eve one night this guy who is an officer, he gets a phone call and it’s a little girl who was looking to talk to Santa and this was like a classified line that like, only the president was supposed to have the phone number too. So he was shocked as to why. But he didn’t want to disappoint this little girl. So he played Santa Claus, you know, to the little girl on the phone. Cause he didn’t want to break her heart. And he said, Oh, you know, I’m over so-and-so. You have to get the bad. I’ll, I’ll be to your house soon, blah, blah blah. And he thought that was it.
Speaker 4: 32:23 Well before you realized that the phone started ringing off the hook and both he and all of his officers, all of his subordinates were answering the phones and pretending to be Santa Claus. Well, it turns out there was a local department store who was running a promotion where you could call a phone number and talk to their department store Santa Claus and tell them what you want to for Christmas. Well, it turns out the phone number that they listed in the newspaper was the wrong number. And it was the number for Nora. Oh my God. So what happened was the following year, because the crew had so much fun doing it and they enjoyed doing it for the kids, they did it again and again and again. And eventually they became an official job for Nora to do this. In the Christmas spirit of things. Wow. So, so now you’ve got the entire United States air force, NORAD, North American aerospace defense. You know, getting caught up in the spirit of Christmas so that they could give these little kids something, you know, to get their spirits going and talk to Santa and Suffolk and that. It was a really cool story. So that’s just another example of how this story of Christmas and Santa Claus and everything else, it just sort of Morrison it gets picked up like that and people get infected with what we call the spirit of Christmas.
Speaker 4: 33:52 So where were we at? Okay, so tracking Santa Claus. So children often leave cookies and milk for Santa and carriage for his reindeer. Well you did that for years. Yup. Cause you have to Uber, we were good hosts when you come to our house to visit, you know, just like Grammy used to try to get us a you know, a Turkey in here, I’ll make you a steak. You’re a good host. You want to make sure your guests are taken care of. So Santa Claus keeps a naughty list and a nice list to determine who deserves gifts on Christmas morning. And parents often invoke these lists as a way to ensure their children are on their best behavior. Now I have to say growing up, my parents invoked that list probably starting sometime in September and I got admonished over and over that, well, if you’re not good, Santa is not going to bring anything. And that was a motivating factor for me as a, as a child growing up. So I always had that in the back of my head. Nowadays, what do they have today?
Speaker 7: 35:02 Mmm,
Speaker 4: 35:03 He sits on a shelf. Oh, the alpha, the alpha Michelle. Right. And the alpha on the shelf has magical powers and he moves around the house and sometimes he leaves messages and it’s different kinds of things. But the, the point is, is that it’s still this motivational factor that parents used to, you know, get their kids to be good. I’m glad you guys never did that to me. Well, we just could not find an elf that wanted to take the job. That’s all. Plus, well, I mean in second grade there was the one elf we
Speaker 5: 35:38 Did have. So yeah.
Speaker 4: 35:40 Well you know, he was just the traveling one. He stopped over. Yeah. So these lists are immortalized in the 1934 Christmas song that you love. Santa Claus is coming to town or he talks about checking his list, watching when you sleep and all the other stalker creepy things that you’re always commenting about. So these are some of the traditions that we in the United States tend to enjoy. But these are all traditions that have evolved over time. Even since I’ve been a kid, things have changed significantly. So that’s the case that we make right now. That’s the evidence, you know, as evidential as it is, that’s what we have to make our case. So when we come back, we will ask the two burning questions that I’m sure our audience has out there for us. So I’m going to ask you first, and I don’t want you to read from the nodes because the notes are my answer. So I’m going to ask you first and I want you to give me the answer in your words and your words alone. Okay. Is Santa Claus real
Speaker 5: 37:02 In a way? Yes. Explain. If you think about it, the whole, like the whole ideal of this, the whole idea of Santa can make him real like the idea of charity, the idea of giving, the idea of caring, kindness, all that stuff is, but do I actually think that there’s a quote unquote jolly old elf
Speaker 8: 37:32 That I’m set
Speaker 5: 37:35 Comes down your chimney, gives you presence once a year and just flies off with his eight rain eight. Well, count them nine reindeer.
Speaker 4: 37:45 He’s only part time so we can’t count him.
Speaker 5: 37:47 Well, yeah. Hmm. Nah,
Speaker 4: 37:51 Not really. Okay. So I will answer that question. Okay. So I wrote the notes for today’s show. So I wrote the notes in a way to kind of support my argument. That makes sense. So here’s my argument. Is Santa Claus real historically? Yes. Santa Claus is based on an actual person who lived sometime in the past. That’s kind of a fact. Yeah. More importantly, Santa clauses, less a person and more a spirit or a philosophy. Yeah. Okay. Sort of like what you said, generosity, charity, caring, love, roaming kind. These are all with the spirit of Santa Claus really is. And there’s enough examples out there, the Noran example being one of them where people get infected with the spirit of Christmas and when that happens and when you go from being your regular everyday self of just going about your business and being too busy to really care or get involved or, or help a person across the street or give to charity or whatever it is, when you cross that threshold around Christmas time and you drop a couple of toys in the toys for tots box or you S give some money to your local church or charity to help people in need around this time of year or you contribute to a food driver, whatever it is, when you cross that threshold to do these things at Christmas time, you are infected with the spirit of Christmas.
Speaker 4: 39:41 And by definition you are Santa Claus at that point. Cause that’s what Santa is to me. And might not be that way to other people. Now, like you said, does that manifest in a jolly old elf would around billing of white beard? Maybe. it’s not really for me to decide, but to me when, when you go out and spend your hard earned money, which you don’t have a lot of, cause you don’t have a full time job and you spend that money and you buy somebody else a present, not because you have to or because your parents made you, but because you want it to. Because in the spirit of Christmas you wanted to brighten someone’s day. When that happens, then that’s you being Santa Claus. And that’s good enough for me. And what I thought of Santa Claus as a child and when I think of cynic clothes now is different. So maybe Santa Claus manifest in each of us or once a year for a brief period of time, we can all put our differences aside and care for each other. Like we all believed at one time that Santa did and we all get to be Santa.
Speaker 9: 41:03 Mmm.
Speaker 4: 41:04 And we get to allow ourselves to be infected by the Christmas spirit. So I will ask you, and I’m not going to cut to a transition here, I’m going to ask you, and I think you’ve answered this, but do you believe in Santa Claus?
Speaker 9: 41:22 Well, yeah.
Speaker 4: 41:24 Do I believe in a jelly? No. Don’t break it down to that. Do you believe in Santa Claus, however you define it, you believe in Santa Claus? Yeah. Yeah. So lie and Santa is means something different for you. It means something different. For me. It means something different for everyone in the audience. But I think all of us can believe in Santa Claus, whether or not he is this guy in a red suit. And I’m going to leave you with another story cause I, we’re almost done here. When I was about your age, it kinda got to the point where it wasn’t cool to believe in Santa Claus anymore. You were kind of silly and childish. Your friends made fun of you for it and you wanted to fit in so you, you didn’t believe anymore. And it was more peer pressure than anything else. And I got to that same point and Christmas Eve one night when I was your age, it was, I don’t know, we were in bed.
Speaker 4: 42:41 I was in bed like 10 o’clock and I couldn’t get to sleep cause I could never sleep Christmas Eve. Even when I convinced myself that Santa wasn’t real and I didn’t believe anymore, I still couldn’t sleep cause I knew there was going to be a pile of toys for me under the Christmas tree. I’m now going back when I was a kid, my parents didn’t have a lot of money, a regenerative. We were kind of cutting the edge of poverty all of our lives. And the only time we ever really gone anything was at Christmas time. And my dad, who I’ve spoken about on the podcast in the past was probably not the best dad in the world. Wasn’t there all the time, had numerous flaws, but Christmas was his time. You know, it was almost like he knew he wasn’t a good dad, 364 days of the year, but Christmas time, that was when he got the shine and that was his holiday.
Speaker 4: 43:42 He loved it. And he would like, like all good parents. He’d spoil his kids on Christmas. So I always knew there was going to be presence there. So I’m your age, I’m in bed, can’t get to sleep. All the my other brothers, cause I have three brothers, they’re all asleep. And I hear talking downstairs and I’m thinking, you know what? This is it. I’m going to catch him. I’m going to see them putting the presence out and I’m going to, this is my aha. I told you so moment, he’s not real. And I, and I crept down the stairs and we had a Bannister. So when you walk down our stairs, there was a living room right outside the Bannister. And then around the corner was a kitchen. That was where my parents always sat. So I crept and I peeked around and the tree was full of presence. So I was like, ah, I missed it. I didn’t get get down there in time. So I peeked around the corner and what do I see? But my mom, my dad and Santa Claus, and this guy was Santa Claus. It wasn’t a fake beard, wasn’t a cheap suit. This guy was totally legit. 100% real beard, Santa Claus, like out of the movie, miracle on 34th street.
Speaker 4: 45:11 And like I was immediately terrified. Now I don’t know if my parents noticed me there or not, but man, I high touted up those stairs, got under the covers and did not people word until my parents told me to come downstairs. Years later when I was an adult, I asked my mother about this and to that day and to the day she died, she would not tell me who that was. I honestly don’t think she knew who that was. So at 13 years old, Santa was real to me and I have no reason to think beyond that. That Santa is a little guy as a, as a jolly old guy in a red suit with a white beard. But that Christmas Eve that made me a believer, and I’m 40 some years old now, 45 years old now, and I’m still telling that story. Okay? That’s how much of an impact that had on my life. So do I believe in Santa Claus? Absolutely. On many levels. But as a parent, I believe in it because I get to be Santa Claus. You know, mommy and daddy, you have to put those presence down there. Now we get to see that. Look on your face.
Speaker 4: 46:49 That’s the Christmas spirit and that means a lot to me. So we’re not going to have closing thoughts or shutoffs offs today. We’re going to leave you with a little special project that we did and have you enjoy. Hope you enjoy happy holidays, everyone.
Speaker 11: 47:31 The night before Christmas by Clement Seymour introduction in 1822, a New York clergyman and Clement Clarke Moore spun together Christmas memories for his children. The poem he wrote featured a red suit at Santa and a reindeer drawn sleigh and never empty sack of toys and stockings hung expectedly above the fireplace. You call it a visit from Saint Nicholas, and it was then published anonymously in a newspaper in Troy, New York. It captured the public’s imagination, the poem’s opening line. It was the night before Christmas, soon replaced the original title. One reason Morris poem has endured is that it is a joy to read aloud, beginning in hush suspense. The poem builds to a traumatic crescendo as the rollicking versus usher, the mysterious midnight visitor. A tale of anticipation and wonder the night before Christmas has become a holiday tradition in itself for many families. So as you listen to this recounting of the poem or there for the first Christmas, or to recall those past, celebrate and share the timeless joys of this enchanting holiday
Speaker 12: 49:10 Frozen the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature, was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds. While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads
Speaker 13: 49:33 And mama and her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.
Speaker 12: 49:40 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter. I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter away to the window. I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
Speaker 13: 49:56 The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below
Speaker 12: 50:03 What to my wandering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer with a little old driver so lively and quick. I knew in a moment it must be st Nick,
Speaker 13: 50:19 More rapid than Eagles, his coursers, they came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Speaker 12: 50:26 Now, Dasher dancer, now Prancer and Vixen on comment on Cupid on Dondre and Blitzen to the top of the porch to the top of the wall. Now dash away, dash away, dash away. All right.
Speaker 13: 50:42 As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly when they meet with an obstacle mountain to the sky.
Speaker 12: 50:49 So up to the house, top the courses, they flew with a sleigh full of toys and Satan Nicholas too.
Speaker 13: 50:57 And then in a twinkle I heard on the roof of each tiny hook, I said drew in my head and was turning around down the chimney. Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
Speaker 12: 51:10 He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung on his back and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack,
Speaker 13: 51:28 His eyes, how they twinkled his dimples, how Merry his cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
Speaker 12: 51:35 His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow and the beard on his CIM was as white as the snow, the stump of a pipe held tightness teeth and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
Speaker 13: 52:02 He was chubby and plumping a right jolly old health. And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself
Speaker 12: 52:09 In a wink of his eye, and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but when straight to his work and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk
Speaker 13: 52:25 And laying his finger aside of his nose and giving a nod up the chimney. He Rose,
Speaker 12: 52:32 He sprang to his sleigh, to his team, gave a whistle and away they all flew like the down of .
Speaker 13: 52:41 But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight.
Speaker 12: 52:44 Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
- Insights Into Teens Episode 46 “Santa Claus”
- My brilliant and beautiful co-host Madison Whalen
- Who or what is Santa Claus
- Santa Claus—otherwise known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle— has a long history steeped in Christmas traditions. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century, when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the patron saint of children.
- Santa Claus—otherwise known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle— has a long history steeped in Christmas traditions. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century, when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the patron saint of children.
- Who was Saint Nicholas
- The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas.
- It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in modern-day Turkey.
- It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick.
- Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors.
- His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6.
- This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married.
- The Origins of Santa Claus
- St. Nicholas made his first appearance into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century.
- In December 1773, and again in 1774, a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death.
- The name Santa Claus evolved from the Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas).
- In 1809, Washington Irving helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York.
- Shopping Mall Santa’s
- Gift-giving, mainly centered around children, has been an important part of the Christmas celebration since the early 19th century.
- Stores began to advertise Christmas shopping in 1820, and by the 1840s, newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements, which often featured images of the newly-popular Santa Claus.
- In 1841, thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model.
- It was only a matter of time before stores began to attract children, and their parents, with the lure of a peek at a “live” Santa Claus.
- In the early 1890s, the Salvation Army needed money to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families.
- They began dressing up unemployed men in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to solicit donations.
- Those familiar Salvation Army Santas have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since.
- The most iconic department store Santa is Kris Kringle in the 1947 classic Santa Claus movie “Miracle on 34 Street.”
- The story involves a little girl who believes Kris Kringle when he says he is the real Santa Claus.
- The Macy’s Santa has appeared at almost every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since it began in1924
- Fans of all ages still line up to meet the Macy’s Santa in New York City and at stores around the country, where children can take pictures on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.
- ‘Twas the Night before Christmas
- In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an minister, wrote a long Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known as “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.”
- Moore’s poem, which he was initially hesitant to publish due to the frivolous nature of its subject, is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head!
- Although some of Moore’s imagery was probably borrowed from other sources, his poem helped popularize the now-familiar image of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve in “a miniature sleigh” led by eight flying reindeer to leave presents for deserving children.
- “A Visit from St. Nicholas” created a new and immediately popular American icon.
- In 1881, political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore’s poem to create the first likeness that matches our modern image of Santa Claus.
- His cartoon, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly, depicted Santa as a rotund, cheerful man with a full, white beard, holding a sack laden with toys for lucky children.
- It is Nast who gave Santa his bright red suit trimmed with white fur, North Pole workshop, elves and his wife, Mrs. Claus
- Santa Claus Around the World
- 18th-century America’s Santa Claus was not the only St. Nicholas-inspired gift-giver to make an appearance at Christmastime.
- There are similar figures and Christmas traditions around the world.
- Christkind or Kris Kringle was believed to deliver presents to well-behaved Swiss and German children.
- Meaning “Christ child,” Christkind is an angel-like figure often accompanied by St. Nicholas on his holiday missions.
- In Scandinavia, a jolly elf named Jultomten was thought to deliver gifts in a sleigh drawn by goats.
- English legend explains that Father Christmas visits each home on Christmas Eve to fill children’s stockings with holiday treats.
- Père Noël is responsible for filling the shoes of French children.
- In Russia, it is believed that an elderly woman named Babouschka purposely gave the wise men wrong directions to Bethlehem so that they couldn’t find Jesus.
- Later, she felt remorseful, but could not find the men to undo the damage.
- To this day, on January 5, Babouschka visits Russian children leaving gifts at their bedsides in the hope that one of them is the baby Jesus and she will be forgiven.
- In Italy, a similar story exists about a woman called La Befana, a kindly witch who rides a broomstick down the chimneys of Italian homes to deliver toys into the stockings of lucky children.
- Christmas Traditions in the United States
- In the United States, Santa Claus is often depicted as flying from his home to home on Christmas Eve to deliver toys to children.
- He flies on his magic sleigh led by his reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph.
- Santa enters each home through the chimney, which is why empty Christmas stockings—once empty socks, now often dedicated stockings made for the occasion—are “hung by the Chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there,” as Clement Clarke Moore wrote in his famous poem.
- Stockings can be filled with candy canes and other treats or small toys.
- Santa Claus and his wife, Mrs. Claus, call the North Pole home, and children write letters to Santa and track Santa’s progress around the world on Christmas Eve.
- Children often leave cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
- Santa Claus keeps a “naughty list” and a “nice list” to determine who deserves gifts on Christmas morning, and parents often invoke these lists as a way to ensure their children are on their best behavior.
- The lists are immortalized in the 1934 Christmas song “Santa Claus is coming to Town”
- Is Santa Claus Real?
- Historically, yes Santa Claus is based on an actual person who lived some time in the past.
- More importantly, Santa Claus is less a person and more a spirit or a philosophy
- Generosity, charity, caring, love for all mankind are what the spirit of Santa Claus really is
- Does that manifest in a jolly old elf with a round belly and a white beard? Maybe.
- Or maybe it manifests itself in each of us. Where once a year, for a brief period of time, we can all put our differences aside and care for each other.
- So in a sense, we all get to be Santa Claus if we allow ourselves to be infected with Christmas spirit
- Do you believe in Santa Claus?