Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa Claus

As silly as it may sound, I have always been sort of creeped out by Santa Claus. I never believed in Santa Claus as a child and the idea of him always quite frightened me. Why? Because he’s an old man who wants little kids to sit on his lap, he comes down your chimney while you’re asleep and eats your cookies. Oh, and apparently, he sees you when he's sleep and he knows when you're awake. Have I convinced you of his creepiness yet? And although Santa Claus doesn’t quite frighten me like he used to, the idea of him is a bit...strange.
Staring into the face of death
So, as the pointless fact seeker that I am, I decided to do a little bit of research on this mysterious Santa Claus and I found that his back story is even more frightening than I thought.
I wonder if his nose was really that tiny.
Nicholas of Myra was a Greek bishop a long, long, long time ago. There are a lot of stories about this guy but my favorite one is that there was a terrible famine and a butcher (I hate the word butcher, by the way) lured three children into his house and killed them! Not only that, but he planned the sell the kids as ham. Gross. That’s when Nicholas came along and resurrected the children from the dead and they all lived happily ever after.
The most popular story, however, is that a man had three daughters who he couldn’t afford to marry off so, one night, Nicholas threw down bags of money which landed in the stockings that were drying over the fire.
Even if none of the stories are true Nicholas of Myra must have been a pretty nice guy because he has his own day: Saint Nicholas Day which is celebrated on December 6. Saint Nicholas Day is usually celebrated Europe and the name “Santa Claus” was derived from “Sinterklaas.”
Despite these stories of heroic deeds, I’m still not sure how I feel about Santa Claus. It seems that us Americans have really screwed up the idea of Saint Nicholas. We've turned an apparently really great guy into a coke drinking, magic sleigh riding, creepy, old man. But I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, America has a tendency of screwing things up.
Good job, America.