Santa Claus

A mythical creature is a monster that is prominent in myths and folklores. They include mythical beings, basilisks, monsters, cockatrice, hellhound and centaur among others. They are believed to possess some supernatural powers albeit to some extent. The aim of this paper is to study the Santa Claus as an example of one of such mythical creatures.

This is a mythical creature that is believed to deliver gifts to children on the Eve of the Christmas day. It is particularly common with the western cultures specifically in Europe and the U.S. He often wears red attire with cuffs and a collar which is white. In addition, he puts on leathered boots with a black leathered belt.

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History of Mythology behind Santa Claus. Santa Claus is believed to have been brought to New York by a Dutch legend called Sinter Klaas during the seventeenth century. A variety of mythical creatures and different legends tell the tale of Santa Claus. The foundation of the association of Santa Claus in Christianity is believed to be Bishop Nicholas in a present day Turkey, formerly known as Smyrna (Izmir).

Bishop Nicholas is believed to live in the 4th century A.D. He had immense wealth and was very lovely, caring and generous towards children. He always threw gifts to poor children as a way of showing them joy. Consequently Saint Nicholas was accorded high esteem by different churches. It was because of his honor that the Orthodox Church, which is the oldest church in Russia, was built.

Within the Catholic Church fraternity, the Saint became the patron of children and seafarers. He was referred to as der Weinachtsmann within the protestant areas in the central and northern Germany. The English people called him Father Christmas. Some Dutch immigrants however took him with them to the United States where he became known as Santa Claus.

Santa Claus drew the curiosity of children who wanted to know what he does and where he lives in between Christmases. Apparently this curiosity led to the conclusion that Santa Claus had a Christmas gift workshop in the North Pole where he lived. But in 1925, it was again discovered that Santa Claus actually lived in Finnish Lapland.

With time, different customs from the Northern Hemisphere joined together and created a global Santa Claus, who was immortal and not affected by either age or time. He wore a red suite and gave gifts to children on the Christmas day before going back to Korvatunturi in Finnish Lapland.

Santa Claus is said to have made several stop over at Napapiiri, near Rovaniemi since the year 1950 to meet children. Due to his now regular visits by 1985, he later established his own Santa Claus office in the same location where he came to daily to listen to children. In addition to his office, there is also a Post Office where he receives letters from children around the world.

Significance of Santa Claus

Santa Claus is believed to spread happiness and joy during the Christmas celebrations. Santa Claus is also said to be big bellied. This ensures the inexhaustible cheer that he carries around. His big belly also translates into a big heart and hence his generosity. The Santa possesses a white beard made of cotton.

This is translated to mean that he has a lot of wisdom. He always assumes the shape of an old man and owing to the fact that old age ahs always been associated with wisdom, he is believed to be wise too. His red attire is however associated with his roots. Saint Nicholas was a bishop and bishops used to wear red in those days. Therefore the Santa is associated with Godly things.

Similarity of Santa Claus to Mythological Creatures

Santa Claus possesses some similarities with other mythological creatures in various aspects. Some mythological creatures such as the dragon are capable of flying. The same is true with Santa Claus. The mythological creatures also had the ability to perform some weird things that cannot be simply explained. For instance, one could make simultaneous appearances at varied locations at the same time. This is also true with Santa Claus since within the Christmas Eve of twenty four hours, he is supposed to have visited around two billion children.

There also exist number of differences between Santa Claus and other mythical creatures. To begin with, Santa Claus is widely associated with religious practices and events. Other mythical creatures are however related to evil and satanic things. Some, like the dragon, for instance is dreaded and is believed within some faiths to be a demon.

Santa Claus is depicted in the form of a human being while other mythical creatures come in forms of animals or mixtures of different animals or even animals with enjoined in a human being. While Santa Claus is associated with generosity and the availability of gifts, other mythical creatures are associated with destruction and harm.

Adaptations of Santa Claus over time

Santa Claus is believed to have been found by Ak, in the Burzee forest as a baby and placed in the acre of lioness Shiegra. During his teens, Claus was taken by Ak to contact with other mortal lives in a bid of gaining experience on the way they lived. The mortal lives included poverty, war, child abuse, brutality and child neglect. He did not like the experience though. From there he stands doing kind acts to children. This earned him respect and admiration of many till they christen him as a saint and hence the title ‘Santa’.

Common Beliefs about Santa Claus in Modern Day Society

Many Christians still presume Santa Claus to be an important element in the celebration of Christmas, which they so much cherish. However there are very sharp divides as pertains to his origins. While many Christians hold the view that he is the Saint Nicholas whose love for children and generosity are well known, others consider him as an offspring of the Northern European gods and the spirits who were in existence before the advent of Christianity.

Yet other Christians are vehemently opposed to his involvement in the celebration of the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ. Some even think that his main objective is to commercialize the important day of Christmas. Meanwhile some do not believe that such a creature ever exists.

Works Cited

Barrett, Justin L. “Why Santa Claus is Not a God.” Journal of Cognition and Culture 8.1- 2 (2008): 149-161. Print.

Baum, Frank L. The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause. Pittsburgh: 1st World Publishing, 2005. Print.

Belk, Ressell W. “A Child’s Christmas in America: Santa Claus as Deity, Consumption as Religion.” The Journal of American Culture 10.1 (2004): 87-100. Print.

Eason, Cassandra. Fabulous Creatures, Mythical Monsters, and Animal Power Symbols: A Handbook. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008. Print.

Federer, William J. There Really Is a Santa Claus – History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions. Salt Lake: Amerisearch, Inc., 2002. Print.

Guida, Fred and Edward Wagenknecht. A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations: A Critical Examination of Dickens’s Story and Its Productions on Screen and Television. McFarland: McFarland Press, 2006. Print.

Rosengren, Karl S. “Exploring the Relation Between Preschool Children’s Magical Beliefs and Causal Thinking.” British Journal of Development Psychology 12.1 (2011): 69-82. Print.

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