Like many of you, I believed in Santa Claus when I was a child. Back then, I gave little thought to the origin of this character. Before proceeding with today’s article, let us briefly revisit the history of this man, who has a history of his own, with a story dating back to the third century to a monk named St. Nicholas. The monk was admired for his kindness, but today is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red. St. Nicholas, according to one legend, gave away all of his inherited wealth to help the poor and sick. St. Nicholas made his way into American culture towards the end of the 18th century with the name Santa Claus which evolved from his Dutch nickname Sinter Klaus, short for Sint Nikolaas.
Today’s experience with regard to Santa Claus had its beginnings as far back as 280 A.D. The commercialism of Christmas with a focus on huge purchases of toys and gifts has replaced the emphasis on the Christ in Christmas. While I try to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, I admit that I sometimes get caught up, during the Christmas season, in visiting the malls. While reflecting on the lines of parents with children waiting for their moment with Santa, my mind traveled back to the days, more than 75 years ago, when I too believed in Santa Claus.