It’s Christmas Eve, the 24th day of December and all the children all over the world have gone to bed agog with expectations about the gifts they will receive from Santa Claus who will visit them sometime during the night. If they have been good throughout the year they will receive a variety of gifts; if they have been naughty they will receive coals instead.
Who Is Santa Claus?
He is a figure of joy, with a white beard and wearing a red cap, a red coat and red trousers. His name may have been derived from Saint Nicholas of Myra who used to shower gifts to the poor. Other characters who have contributed to the modern image of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, a symbol of “good cheer” in England since the 16th century; Sinterklaas of Netherlands and Belgium and the God Odin in Germany. Whatever be the origin, the modern day Santa Claus is believed to be a generous donor of gifts to children who have been good throughout the year.
Santa Claus’ Residence
Santa Claus is believed to reside in or near the North Pole. Different countries claim that he resides within their territory. Canada, for example, claims that he resides at a place within its territory at the North Pole and has even provided him with citizenship rights in 2008. USA, on the other hand, claims that he lives in a city named North Pole in Alaska where he lives in a house called “Santa Claus house” and his postal ZIP code is 99705. Different European countries like Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Belarus have also earmarked different cities within their jurisdiction as the places where Santa Claus lives. Whatever be the location of Santa Claus his residence is typically depicted as having a house and a workshop where he creates toys throughout the year with the help of elves. Thereafter, on Christmas eve, he sets out with his bag full of gifts, riding his “one horse open sleigh delivering them to the children who have behaved well through the year.
HO, HO, HO
The typical deep throat laughter of Santa Claus (Ho, Ho, Ho) is believed to be derived from the mythological figure of Puck of England. According to a Christmas poem he had “a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.” In fact, the postal code of Santa Claus in Canada is H0H 0H0
Traditionally, children write letters to Santa Claus in Christmas with a wish list and an explanation of how good they have been during the year. Many postal services, particularly in the USA and Canada have Santa letter answering services. On Christmas eve, children in different countries leave different types of foodstuff at their doorsteps for Santa. Before going to bed, children usually leave stockings at prominent places for Santa to leave his gifts and look up at the sky hoping to see Santa riding on his sleigh.
Down the ages, Santa Claus, the portly good natured father Christmas has brought joy to innumerable children down the ages. He remains one of the most popular mythical figures all over the world.