Teach them historical Santa Claus and tell them the fictional Santa Claus. With this, they will learn history and art as well as relationship between history and art. Teach them how to discriminate history from fictional literary work of art.
When Professor of literature Clement Clarke Moore, the author of fictional Santa Claus, created his poem and read it before his son in 1823, he was teaching his son about literature as an art.
No.Business-version Santa Claus is not religious figure. Coca-cola and Haddon Sundblom caricaturized historic St. Nicholas for advertisement and sales purposes in December. There is no religious interest in it.
Yes. Historic Santa Claus was St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, Turkey, a leader of Christ followers in 4 AD century.
Their author, i.e. Clement Clark Moore, was naming them in 1823, when he created the poem to his son in Christmas eve. In his fictional work of art, the poet depicted Santa Claus riding sleigh drawn by 8 tiny reindeers.
A Visit From St. Nicholas
(a fictional poem by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823)
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.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
His art has been well-known for centuries and inspires other artists to develop and improve his story.
St. Nicholas alias St. Claus alias Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was a bishop of Myra, Turkey, in 4 AD century. He was well-known for his generosity. Most inhabitants of the world know him, especially in the Christmas season.
Born in village Patara, Lycia, in southern coast of minor Asia (part of present Turkey).
Ordained as bishop for decades and well-known for his generosity. Beside his heart gentleness, he was known for radical view against paganism: he ruined Myra temple of Arthemis.
Attending Council of Nicene 1
December 6, 343
Died in Myra, Turkey.
Honored by Eastern church.
A basilica was built on his tomb.
First written life of St. Nicholas listing all his miracles, by Methodius, Bishop of Constantinople.
The Clergy of Cologne Cathedral were commemorating the death of the saint by giving fruit and cookies to the boys of the cathedral school.This tradition, then, spread across Europe and transform into European tradition in welcoming Christmas.
Became favorite Saint in Russia since the first Tsar Vladimir I. Folklore on St. Nicholas spread widely thorough the world from this country. Hundreds years later, Clement Clarke More in 1823 wrote a fictional poem of St. Nicholas coming from the North Pole, which was Russia’s territory.
May 9, 1087
Italian sailors took his bones and brought them to Bari, Italy. It has been commemorated with St. Nicholas festival in Bari, Italy, lasting to present.
French nuns began giving candy and gifts to needy children on December 6th, St. Nicholas feast day. (Candy was an expensive gift. Only rich family could buy candy for their children. Candy was special and expensive gift for children of the poors)
The life of St. Nicholas was written by Jean, a Norman monk.
St Nicholas also became a subject of folklore. First evidence of folklore in picture from 1410 was created.
December 6, 1492
Christopher Columbus arrived in Haiti on December 6th, naming the port “St. Nicholas”. St. Nicholas was considered as patron among European sailors. It was the first time St. Nicholas introduced to America.
Fictive history “Knickerbocker’s History of New York” fictionalized St. Nicholas as an elf.
First literary work of art materialized folklore of St Nicholas into a book.
Poem “A visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore fictionalized St. Nicholas as an old elf, which can fly and come from North Pole (which was Russia’s territory in this time).
Thomas Nast painted caricatures of St. Nicholas based on poem “A visit from St. Nicholas”.
USA bought Alaska in North Pole from Russia. This decision resulted in image “Santa Claus from America” for next centuries and eliminated Russia trace in St. Nicholas story according to fictional literary work version.
Haddon Sundblom and Coca-Cola created business-version St. Claus based on Nast’s caricature and poem “A visit from St. Nicholas”. But, their St. claus was human, not old elf.
Coca-cola knew the original version of St. Claus.
Coca-cola successfully increased its sales using St. Claus. This motivated other companies to follow its success. “Me too” strategy of following Coca-Cola has been spreading globally business-version St. Claus caricature.
Reconstruction of St. Nicholas from bones and icons by Professor Caroline Wilkinson and Mark Roughley from John Moore University.
There are two versions of St Nicholas:
Historical real St. Nicholas (religious version).
Caricature and business-versions of St. Nicholas (secular version).
Don’t confuse them! Secular St. Nicholas has nothing to do with religious version.