Christmas Symbols

Santa Claus

This legend has been attributed to the real life Saint Nicholas of Myra who devoted his life to giving gifts to the less fortunate. Like the Santa that we now know he too had a long greyish white beard. However, earlier depictions of Santa were much closer to the man they were based with Santa wearing a Bishop's Rob. Today he is shown wearing his red and white suit with a large collar and cuff complete with a black belt and black boots, he is also noticeably much larger and more red cheeked. His transformation was inspired by 19th century caricaturist Thomas Nast who created the modern day look of Santa. With the popularity of Christmas songs, the television and movies of the 20th century this image of Santa has become widely accepted and used during this season.

Santa's life is lived for the purpose of Christmas. All throughout the year he and his magical elves remain in the North Pole creating gifts for children globally. He and his wife Mrs Claus live a cosy lifestyle munching on cookies, warm tea and candy. The home they live in is also depicted as a lively and vibrant little cottage that houses his workshop and several elves. During the year he watches all children and creates a list that separates them into naughty or nice. To those who are nice, a gift that they have wished for will be granted, while those who have been naughty receive a lump of coal. Normally, jolly old Saint Nick will make his magical trip in one night by going down chimneys and putting his gifts or lump of coal in the socks of the good and bad children. This is accomplished effortlessly with his set of magical reindeer and flight capable sleigh.

Essentially, parents use the figure of Santa to reinforce the message of giving while also using him to inspire goodness in their children. No child wishes to be naughty and receive only a lump of coal, thus he or she tries to be good the entire year to please Santa.