Thursday, November 1, 2007
The World of Santas
I have always loved Santa and when I lived in Manhattan I couldn't wait until the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when Santa would make his grand entrance ushering in the Christmas holiday. Today we start Christmas preparation even before the Thanksgiving Day Parade, but I love to see all the Christmas decorations, including the different Santas.
Now if you have little ones around your house this Christmas, I found a delightful site where you can visit the north pole, and find lots of cute things for them. Besides so many actitives and treasures they have a reading room in Santa's Toyshop where your child can listen, read or print out a story about Christmas.
I see that The North Pole site also has recipes from Mrs. Claus' Kitchen.
Over the years I have collected quite a few Santas, and I have painted Santas for friends and family. This year I painted a Santa with Vintage sparkles to make him look like he might have stepped our of my mom's generation.
"The Dutch Christmas has a tradition each December 5th, the patron Saint of Amsterdam, Sinterklaas arrives by boat at the harbor, then rides through the streets of the Netherlands capital city astride a white horse. Dressed in red velvet cape and bishop miter, Sinterklaas occupies a dignified place in Dutch folk tradition."
I put Santa all over the inside and outside of the house and each year the collection of Santas gets larger. You can never have enough Santas at Christmas.
I love reading about all the Santa traditions and legends throughtout the world. One of the most fascinating stories to me is the one of St. Nicholas. It seems that according to the stories St. Nicholas was a very Godly and kind man who demonstrated strong Christian faith. Here is part of his story...
Nicholas from Saint to Santa Claus.
"Long ago in Patara, a village located in the country we now call Turkey, lived a couple named Epiphanes and Johane. They were members of the early Christian community. Barely 200 years earlier, their ancestors had been converted by the apolstle Paul as he traveled and preached about Jesus in their country of Lycia. Married for many years, Ephipanes and Johane were content with their lives except for their lack of a child. Finally their paryers were answered and a son was born to them. They called him Nicolas, which means victorious. Even in infancy Nicholas showed signs of being especially devout. During his first bath he stood right up in the basin and raised his hands over his head in an effort to praise the Lord.
Nicholas, servant and friend of God, for your holiness ye shall be bishop of this place." Legend tells of a ship grounded on rocks during a gale. Afraid that the ship would sink and all on board would perish in the turbulent sea, the sailors prayed to the distant Bishop Nicholas. As they prayed, Nicholas appeared flying toward them through the air.
(Perhaps the story gave our modern Santa Claus the ability to fly as he delivers gifts. When the ship arrived at Myra, the sailors were amazed to find him standing in front of the altar.
Nicolas died December 6th around 343 A.D. The day was then set aside in honr of this man whose good works and deeds lived on in the hearts of the people he had served. STories of St. Nnicholas spread throught the world. His fame grew as years passed and his image slowly began to change."
Whether you are lining up with your little one to see Santa, shopping as one of Santa's little elves or just enjoying putting your Santa collection on display...Ho Ho Ho Have a Merry Santa Day!