Another Glass of Egg Nog...
Christmas and Santa Claus.... The first is a religious holiday, not shared by everyone. The second, well, that's another story!
Saint Nickolas, Kris Kringle, Sinter Claes or Santa Claus. There are many different fables about the origin of this spirit of goodwill...
Some say St. Nicholas was a 4th century Bishop. It's also believed the Christian church made up this person to help spread the fable (Hagios Nikolaos or St. Nicholas, of Myra, the patron Saint of children and sailors who loved children and threw anonymous gifts into the open windows of any home where children lived).
Some say it became an event to cloak the fact that people were celebrating the birth of Christ (while others claim Jesus was not born in winter, but actually summer or fall, October 6 is the scientific favorite among Astronomers).
In the late 1600's the Dutch brought the legend of Sinter Klass or Sinter Claes to the New World (and in many areas the use of the name and the practice of exchanging gifts during part of this period was outlawed).
In the 1800s there was the fable of Christkindlein (the Christ Child) who went through Europe with Belsnickle, a dwarf who was his helper, giving gifts in secret to children. Christkindlein eventually became known as Kriss Kringle.
Washington Irving wrote about Saint Nicholas in the "History of New York" in 1800 under the pen name Diedrich Knickerbocker. William Gilley printed a poem about 'Santeclaus' just before the fabled "Night Before Christmas" first appeared in a year later in 1822, and is attributed to either Clement Clarke Moore, a Dentist, or poet Henry Livingston, Jr.
J.W. Parkinson hired a man, who was dressed up in a Santa Claus suit, to enter his store through the chimney in 1841 and in 1863 Harper's magazine began printing the famous Santa pictures by Thomas Nast.
At the end of that century Francis P. Church wrote her famous editorial in the New York Sun telling Virginia O'Hanlon: "Yes, there is a Santa Claus...."
During World War I, on Christmas, both sides in the war stopped fighting and some even exchanged gifts, drank, sang songs and gave up the war for a few hours (this traditional promptly got outlawed by the power that be in ensuing years).
I remember leaving cookies and milk out for Santa as a kid and I also remember waking up in the morning to bright packages under the tree with all sorts of goodies! I remember that delightful movie, which we watch each year, with Natalie Wood: "The Miracle on 34th Street."
"You no can fool-a me! Everybody no there's no Sanity Clause!" Yes, Mr. Chicka-a-leanie, there are disbeliveers... People who group Santa, Kriss and St. Nick in with the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. Like Natalie Wood's screen mother says in "Miracle" -- Kriss is just a nice old man. Santa's not practical, realistic or possibly just plain to materialistic! It's a bunch a humbug, eh, Ebenezer?
I think not...
The concept of giving; of having a day for giving, with a mystical or historic figure who goes around giving, especially to children, should be a universal concept. It doesn't matter what you call it, how you dress up, if the spirit uses a chimney or window or even the front door. Santa Claus, is the universal spirit of good will, giving and peace on Earth, even if just for one day. Call it what you like, see it as you will, one thing is for sure, no one has been able to crush this concept of peace, good-will and giving in the last 16 centuries! Maybe if we had more days in the year with this kind of spirit the world would be a better place...
I worked hard this year. I need a day to goof off. A day to forget about bills, deadlines and problems in the world. I'm going to have another egg-nog, go to sleep and see what Santa brings in the morning...
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Shuvo Baro Din - Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a Stastny novy rok
Seng Dan Fai Lok, Sang Nian Fai Lok
Danistayohihv & Aliheli'sdi Itse Udetiyvsadisv
Hoesenestotse & Aa'e Emona'e
Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Ni ti Burunya Chou & Mi ti yuun
Glædelig Jul og godt nytår
Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Colo sana wintom tiebeen
Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi ja Head uut aastat
Gledhilig jól og eydnurikt nýggjár!
Me Nomuni na marau ni siga ni sucu dei na yabaki vou
Hyvää Joulua or Hauskaa Joulua - 0nnellista uutta vuotta
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!
Gilotsavt Krist'es Shobas & Gilosavt akhal ts'els
Froehliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos
Juullimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit
Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Shubh Naya Baras
Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket és Boldog újévet!
Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár!
Selamat Hari Natal & Selamat Tahun Baru
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
eman haaro wegga illisholce
Rastawanke Sinun, Uvven Vuvenke Sinun
Christmas Id Mubarak
Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Milad Saeed wa Sanaa Mubarakah
Linksmu Kaledu ir laimingu Nauju metu
Jovi talshpivdi un Vondzist uto aigasto
Srekan Bozik I Nova Godina
Schéi Krëschtdeeg an e Schéint Néi Joer
Kristu aye namwe umu nsikunkulu ino iya Mwezi
Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Kia orana e kia manuia rava i teia Kiritimeti e te Mataiti Ou
krist Yesu Ko Shuva Janma Utsav Ko Upalaxhma Hardik Shuva & Naya Barsa Ko harkik
Eg ynskjer hermed Dykk alle ein God Jul og Godt Nyttår
Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo
Nave sal di mubaraka
Craciun fericit si un An Nou fericit!
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom
Ia manuia le Kilisimasi ma le tausaga fou
Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!
Sretan Bozic. Vesela Nova Godine
Bon Natali e Prosperu Annu Novu !
Vesele Vianoce a stastny novy rok
Krismas Njema Na Heri Za Mwaka Mpya
God Jul och Gott Nytt År
Ia ora i te Noere e ia ora na i te matahiti 'api
Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Keresemose o monate le masego a ngwaga o montsha
Veseloho Vam Rizdva i Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku!
Chuc Mung Giang Sinh - Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Quyanalghii Kuusma & Quyangalleq Nutaghamun Aymiqulleq
Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo
From last year (2001):