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Is Santa real and do you believe in believe Claus?

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Santa Claus is a variation of a Dutch folk tale based on the historical figure Saint Nicholas, a bishop from Myra in Asia Minor (the greater part of modern-day Turkey), who used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. His charity became legend when a man lost his fortune and found himself incapable of supporting his three daughters, who would not be able to find husbands as they lacked dowries. This man was going to give them over to a life of prostitution; however, St Nicholas provided them with gold, enabling them to retain their virginal virtues and marry.

    This inspired figure of Sinterklaas, the subject of a major celebration in the Netherlands and Belgium, Germany (where his believed date of death, December 6, is celebrated the evening before on December 5), which in turn inspired both the myth and the name of Santa Claus. "Santa Claus" is actually a mispronunciation of the Dutch word "Sinterklaas" by the English settlers of New Amsterdam (later renamed New York). Whilst in those countries Saint Nicholas is celebrated as a distinct character with a religious touch separate from Christmas, Santa Claus is also making inroads as a symbol during the Christmas season.[citation needed]

    Santa Claus is an example of folklore mythology which adults know is fiction, but which is sometimes presented to children as fact. He now forms an important part of the Christmas tradition throughout the Western World and Japan and other parts of East Asia.

    A Santa Claus doll.Santa Claus is traditionally represented in a red cloak with white fur trimmings, a reference to St Nicholas, who reputably performed his charitable acts dressed in his red bishop's robes.

    In many Eastern Orthodox traditions, Santa Claus visits children on New Year's Day and is identified with Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (contemporary Turkey), whose memory is celebrated on that day. According to the Greek tradition, he is supposed to visit children and give presents every January 1. This festival is also marked by the baking of Saint Basil's bread (Gr. Βασιλόπιτα - Vasilópita), a sweetbread with a coin hidden inside.

    Depictions of Santa Claus also have a close relationship with the Russian character of Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost"). He delivers presents to children and has a red coat, fur boots and long white beard. Much of the iconography of Santa Claus could be seen to derive from Russian traditions of Ded Moroz, particularly transmitted into western European culture through his German folklore equivalent, Väterchen Frost. Parents say Santa gets around the world in 1 night by magic.

    Department Store SantaConventionally, Santa Claus is portrayed as a kindly, round-bellied, merry, bespectacled white man in a red coat trimmed with white fur (perhaps remotely derived from the episcopal vestments of the original Bishop Nicholas), with a long white beard and green or white gloves. On Christmas Eve, he rides in his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer from house to house to give presents to children. To enter the house, Santa Claus comes down the chimney and exits through the fireplace. During the rest of the year he lives together with his wife Mrs. Claus and his elves manufacturing toys. Some modern depictions of Santa (often in advertising and popular entertainment) will show the elves and Santa's workshop as more of a processing and distribution facility, ordering and receiving the toys from various toy manufacturers from across the world. His home is usually given as either the North Pole, in northern Canada, Korvatunturi in Finnish Lapland, Drøbak in Norway, Dalecarlia in Sweden, or Greenland, depending on the tradition and country. Sometimes Santa's home is in Caesarea when he is identified as Saint Basil. L. Frank Baum placed his home in The Laughing Valley of Hohaho. In the original Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas lives in Spain and is accompanied by a great number of black servants, called 'Zwarte Pieten', which means Black Petes.

    Historical origins

    Main article: Origins of Santa Claus

    See also: Christmas gift-bringers around the world and Christmas worldwide

    Santa Claus in popular culture

    Santa parading with a Santa Christmas ornament

    Santa Claus rituals

    Several rituals have developed around the Santa Claus figure that are normally performed by children hoping to receive gifts from him. See main article: Santa Claus rituals.

    Ho, ho, ho

    Ho ho ho is the way that many languages write out how Santa Claus laughs. "Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!"

    The laughter of Santa Claus has long been an important attribute by which the character is identified, but it also does not appear in many non-English-speaking countries. The traditional Christmas poem A Visit from St. Nicholas relates that Santa has:

    . . . a little round belly

    That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly

    Ho ho ho represents an attempt to write the deep belly-laugh of Santa Claus, as opposed to the conventional, higher-pitched ha ha or he he that represents the laughter of thinner characters, or the snickering, cynical bwa/mwa ha ha! associated with the villains of melodrama.

    Jacob Grimm asserts that "Ho ho ho" was the hunting cry of Odin during The Furious Host. Odin being attributal to Santa Claus.

    "H0H 0H0" is a postal code used by Canada Post for routing letters sent in Canada to Santa Claus at the North Pole. The alphanumeric sequence falls within a grouping associated with the Montreal, Quebec area.

    Santa Claus's reindeers' names

    Main article: Santa Claus' reindeer

    A classic American image of Santa Claus.Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen are the most commonly cited names of Santa's nine reindeer. In the poem "The Night Before Christmas" (attributed to Clement C. Moore), from which the names of the reindeer come, the reindeer known today as Donner and Blitzen were originally Dunder and Blixem (the Dutch words "Donder" and "Bliksem" stand for "thunder" and "lightning", as rendered in English orthography). Dunder was later reprinted as Donder, which developed into Donner (the German for "thunder"); while Blixem was reprinted as Blitzen (Blitz is German for "lightning").[1]. All of these reindeer names are recited in the first verse of the popular song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which in turn has helped make Rudolph by far the best known and most popular with children.

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was born for the American department store chain Montgomery Ward in 1939, and has since entered the public consciousness as Santa's ninth and lead reindeer.

    All of the above reindeer have been featured in many films, although in the film The Polar Express only eight of the reindeer can be seen pulling Santa's sleigh.

    Also, in the movie The Santa Clause 2 Chet is a reindeer in training. Country singer Joe Diffie sang of "Leroy the Redneck Reindeer" in his 1995 song of the same title.

    Santa Claus in film

    Main article: Santa Claus in film

    NASA and Santa Cooperation

    NASA[1] has recently begun providing specialised technical assistance to Santa on Christmas eve in order to help Santa deliver presents across Earth. According to a NASA press bulletin

    The Debris Imaging Radar System, used during the night launch of NASA's space shuttle mission STS-116, is a new system at Kennedy Space Center in Florida that will now be made available to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

    Based on its success in identifying even the smallest amount of debris coming off the orbiter or the external tank, NASA has strong confidence the system will provide assistance in observing Santa's sleigh. Since the elves have the packages piled high, NASA can determine with great accuracy if any gifts planned for delivery fall off the sleigh. The radar system is capable of high-definition radar imagery, so the approximate shape, size and weight of the packages can be determined.

    This could greatly help Santa recover the packages so that no child is disappointed by not receiving the presents the jolly fellow promised while he made the rounds in shopping malls before Christmas. The radar has an auto-track mode so that it can be left unattended on Christmas Eve and still perform its intended function. The system will be automatically activated once NASA's air traffic control radar located on north KSC has made radar contact with Santa's sleigh.

    Also of assistance to Santa this year is the new Differential Global Positioning Satellite System ground station at the Shuttle Landing Facility. These new GPS antennas located near the control tower can help if there is an emergency. Since the sleigh is now GPS equipped, it can guide Santa to a landing within 10 feet of the runway's centerline, regardless of which end of the runway he needs to use.

    Though Shuttle Landing Facility personnel will be on holiday leave, officials at the NASA Tower have agreed to provide the customary support by turning the landing lights on before they depart for Christmas, as well as turning on the TACAN radio homing beacon and the visual alternating green and white lighted rotating beacon.

    NASA will use the orbiter Discovery to mimic Santa's sleigh during the STS-116 landing currently planned for Friday, in order to test the ability to operate these two new systems in auto-track mode. If the orbiter is waved off to land on the West Coast, the Shuttle Training Aircraft will be used to simulate Santa's sleigh.

    If Santa needs help, one of the primary radio frequencies normally used for communication in restricted airspace will still be monitored by the Air Force Eastern Range and also NASA security.


    According to the NORAD Santa Tracking website[2], Santa is 'tracked' every Christmas Eve with the same equipment that tracks the presence of aircraft entering North American airspace. In addition, the Canadian Armed Forces regularly officially announce on Christmas Eve that Santa is "escorted into Canadian airspace by jet fighters", apparently to keep with the spirit of the night.


    Santa Rampage in Austin, TexasMain article: SantaCon

    SantaCon is a mass gathering of people dressed in cheap Santa Claus costumes, performing publicly on streets and in bars. The focus is on spontaneity, creativity, and the improvisational nature of human interaction while having a good time. Variously known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage and the Red Menace, SantaCon events are noted for bawdy and harmless behavior, including the singing of naughty Christmas carols, and the giving of gifts. Some participants see SantaCon as a postmodern revival of Saturnalia, while others see the event as a precursor of the flash mob.

    Santa's Mail

    Many children write letters to Santa, usually to tell him what gifts they wish to recieve. Many of these letters get sent to the small town of North Pole, Alaska near Fairbanks. In 2005, 120,000 letters arrived from 26 countries, not counting the thousands with no return address. Those that do have return addresses usually get a reply and a North Pole postmark in a holiday effort that has delighted children all over the world for decades. Some people have also claimed that Santa lives in northern Finland, closer to the GMT time zone, so Santa would be able to catch up to the time zones to deliver presents at the correct time.

    Letters trickle in year-round in the community of 1,600, where light poles are curved and striped like candy canes and streets have names such as Santa Claus Lane and Kris Kringle Drive. Around Thanksgiving, they start pouring in by the thousands each day as Christmas approaches. Even stampless letters get through, a rare exception for the U.S. Postal Service.

    When parents and other adults write their own Santa replies, put them in a stamped, self-addressed envelope and tuck them into a larger envelope addressed to the Fairbanks post office, these are sent to the children. In other cases, the volunteers, called "Santa's Elves," reply to any letter with a return address. Either way, replies get a North Pole postal cancellation mark, complete with a half-moon drawing of Santa's face. The Fairbanks post office also stamps the postmark on thousands of Christmas cards and packages diverted through Alaska from outside the state each year.

    Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks also runs a Santa letter project. Santa's Mailbag was started in 1954 by base weather forecasters. In 2005, more than 4,000 letters were received and followed up with replies from base volunteers. Many of the letters came from children of military families stationed in the lower 48 states and abroad, but civilian children also are welcome to write.

    The post office in Santa Claus, Indiana (which is the home of Holiday World, formerly known as Santa Claus Land) will also postmark a letter with their Christmas-themed cancellation stamp around this time of year.

    Canada Post assigns a special postal code "H0H 0H0" to mail for Santa Claus. The three digits are zeroes, not letter Os, to comply with Canada's postal code format.

    People have written websites on which children can send Santa Claus e-mail.

    Little Jesus

    In the Czech Republic, Santa Claus does not give gifts. Instead, Ježíšek (little Jesus) handles the job. Ježíšek is a representation of the newborn Jesus Christ and gives gifts after Christmas Eve dinner.

    Christian opposition to Santa Claus

    Main article: Christmas controversies

    Excerpt from Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Father Christmas (1686), published shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.Though Santa Claus has Christian origins, he has become a secular representation of Christmas. As such, a number of Christian churches dislike the secular focus on Santa Claus and the materialist focus that present-receiving gives to the holiday.

    Such a condemnation of Santa Claus is not a 20th-century phenomenon, but originated among some Protestant groups of the 16th century and was prevalent among the Puritans of 17th-century England and America who banned the holiday as either pagan or Roman Catholic. Following the English Civil War, under Oliver Cromwell's government Christmas was banned. Following the Restoration of the monarchy and with Puritans out of power in England,[2] the ban on Christmas was satirized in works such as Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas; Together with his Clearing by the Jury (1686) [Nissenbaum, chap. 1].

    Rev. Paul Nedergaard, a clergyman in Copenhagen, Denmark attracted controversy in 1958 when he declared Santa to be a "pagan goblin" after Santa's image was used on fundraising materials for a Danish welfare organization [Clar, 337]. One prominent religious group that refuses to celebrate Santa Claus, or Christmas itself, for similar reasons is the Jehovah's Witnesses. A number of denominations of Christians have varying concerns about Santa Claus.

    Some Christians would prefer that the focus of the Christmas season be placed on the birth of Jesus.[3] In addition, some parents are uncomfortable about lying to their children about the existence of Santa. Many who share these concerns but still wish to participate in the festive gift-giving atmosphere of "Santa season" will shop for toys to donate to poor children on St. Nicholas's feast day, December 6. This is an opportunity to instill the Christian value of secret charity, which Nicholas was known for. Although feast days are usually not acknowledged in Protestant denominations, this tradition has found acceptance there as well.

    While these viewpoints do not represent the majority of Christians, their comments have drawn the attention of critics such as the fictional Landover Baptist Church, whose website satirizes and parodies this viewpoint. The website specifies that Satan is disguising himself as Santa (notice the same letters used in an anagram) to deceive people into a materialistic celebration.

    Source(s): I watch operah
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Christmas Story:

    Dear Editor! I am 8 years old.

    "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    "Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ "Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?

    "Virginia O’Hanlon"

    "Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skeptism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except that which they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the countless worlds about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

    Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginia's. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, and no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and light. The eternal life with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unsee able in the world.

    You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, and romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

    No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever."

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  • 1 decade ago

    I believe in Santa...I have seen too many Christmas miracles to doubt the spirit of Santa.

    My favorite occurred just a few years ago. My workplace 'adopted' a shelter (where women and children who were abused escaped their abuser) Everyone brought in a wrapped toy that we labeled for age and boy or girl. The workplace had a special Christmas luncheon, and the residents of the shelter were invited to join us. They had a Santa Claus on hand to hand out the wrapped presents to the children. My friend and I were sat near one mother and her 6 year son. After he visited with Santa he came back to the table bearing a large box, which he opened on the spot - and squealed with delight upon seeing a large floppy stuffed dog. My friend and I smiled at the mother and commented that he seemed happy with the stuffed dog, and the mother, with tears in her eyes told us "You don't know the half of it. He asked Santa Claus for this specific toy just last week at the mall." My friend and I looked at each, with tears rolling down our face...You see, the present was completely random (based on age) But the fact that he got that specific toy that he asked for...That was the spirit of Santa Claus.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes I guess.I believe that there is a santa in everyone.Both a Santa and a Scrooge.Everytime you give unselflessly , your a Santa.Santa is a character derived from Saint Nicholas or for short, St. Nick.I don't believe about a big man giving gifts but I guess he symbolizes a fuzzy,warm home that all of us want or wait for.

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  • Karen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    St Nicholas is real. But he's dead long ago. He gave presents to poor children at Christmas. But the Santa Claus with the red suit and sleigh with flying reindeer is make believe.

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  • Arnoux
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Yes and there is nothing wrong to believe that there is Santa.The most important thing is he makes the Christmas season joyful for everyone, especially kids. Have you received a Christmas present from Santa yet?

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  • jom
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The concept of Santa Claus is about generosity of spirit and THAT I do believe in.

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  • Smriti
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Yes, Santa Claus is real and he lives inside every parent.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes Santa is real and I believe in him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, Santa is real, I've met him, and I believe in him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well I am 18 years old and haven't belived in Santa since....I want to say I was 5 or 6? At any rate My mom tells me I have to belive in him or she will take all my presents back. I really don't care about presents, but it makes her happy to hear me say I belive in it so what the hell ya know?

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