Regardless of how or why each of us celebrates this holiday, it truly is about the Spirit of the Season -- giving of ourselves, sharing home and hearth, love and togetherness, and joy.
When we think of it, that is exactly what authors do year round. They give of themselves, of their imagination, their creativity, and their love so that others may enjoy and share in the fruit of their labors. The gifts they receive in return may seem small to the world. But authors rejoice and are inspired to continue on when their work is well received through a wonderful review, an email from a reader who loved a story, and by the followers who buy their books.
In the Spirit of fun, I'd like to share some facts about Santa Clause.
The Origins of Santa Claus
It is commonly believed that the inspiration behind Santa Claus – at least in terms of character - was 4th century Greek Christian bishop Saint Nicholas of Myra (a province of Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey). Saint Nicholas was famous for his generous dowries and offerings to the poor.
In terms of Santa Claus’s flight through the sky on Christmas Eve, many have traced his image and actions to that of the pre-Christianity Germanic/Norse god Odin. The god was often recorded as an elderly man with a white beard and large hat, seen to be leading a great hunting party through the skies at the native Germanic holiday of Yule - which similarly occurred during the first day of winter, December 21st – riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir (similar to modern day’s Christmas reindeers).
Phonetically, the name Santa Claus was possibly derived of the Dutch “Sinterklaas” – a folkloric depiction of Saint Nicholas. Like Odin, he was also seen wearing a large beard and riding a grey horse through the skies. He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas’ eve (5th – 6th of December).
When December comes, the boys and girls in Spain and Latin America write their letters to the Three Kings or to their favorite King: Melchor, Gaspar or Baltasar. The Spanish Christmas continues for a few weeks after Dec. 25th. On the Eve of Epiphany, January 5th, children place their shoes on the doorstep, and in the secret of the night, the Three Wise Men pass leaving gifts.