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The Origin of Santa Claus A Presentation by Chris MacKinnon.

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1 The Origin of Santa Claus A Presentation by Chris MacKinnon

2 Where Did Santa Come From? k Children all over the world look forward to his visit every December 25th because of all the toys and gifts he brings to all k But how did Santa Claus become associated with Christmas?

3 Saint Nicholas k Santa Claus evolved from Saint Nicholas. k Saint Nicholas was a bishop, in 270- 310A.D, of a small town in Asia Minor. k He was recognized for his generosity.

4 Saint Nicholas k He became the patron saint of little children and of school children. k The Dutch were responsible for preserving the tradition of the feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th after European countries abolished it after the Protestant Reformation.

5 More on the Dutch Connection k After the XVII century, Dutch people emigrated to the United States. k After several decades, the Dutch custom of celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas spread to the United States. k Sinter Klaas became Santa Claus for Americans

6 The Legacy of Saint Nicholas k He was a thoughtful philanthropist. k He was usually depicted as an old man with a long white beard wearing a long capped coat. k He remained a very moralistic figure.

7 The Legacy of Saint Nicholas k He rewarded deserving children and punished the difficult or unruly ones. k After a few decades, Christian society found it more appropriate to bring this children’s festival, on December 6th closer to that of the Infant Jesus. k From this time on, Saint Nicholas made his rounds on December 24, Christmas Eve.

8 The Influence of the Press k Credit for having brought together all the incarnations of Christian gift givers was due to the American press, in Clement Clarke Moore’s famous 1823 poem entitled, A Visit From Saint Nicholas. k In this poem, the gift giver is depicted as a curious little elf who comes down chimneys and travels with 8 reindeer.

9 Old Habits Die Hard k But the old habit of threatening unruly children, with no gifts from Santa Claus still exists today.

10 Santa’s Image k From 1863 to the 1890’s, Thomas Nast, created images of Santa for the Christmas editions of Harper’s Magazine. k It was 1920’s when the image of Santa Claus became standardized to portray a bearded, overweight, jolly man dressed in a red suit with a white trim.

11 Rudolph k Rudolph was added as the ninth reindeer in 1939 in a poem by Robert L. May of the Montgomery Ward Company.

12 The Coca-Cola Connection k From 1931-1964, Haddon Sundblom, an illustrator for Coca- Cola, drew a series of Santa images in Coke’s Christmas ads. k This is the image most familiar to us as Santa.

13 Christmas Quiz k Take the Christmas quiz to test your knowledge of Santa and the holiday season. k Click here to take the quiz. Quiz

14 Credits k TEXT k k k k PICTURES k k santa.html k

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