Does Santa Clause exist, or is he just a myth?

Over the past two centuries the story of Santa Clause has been told to children around the world.

 At some point in time many children question the existence of Santa Clause, the answer is yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause.

 The story of Santa Clause began in 1823 when poet Clement Clarke Moore wrote a story called “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” now known as “Twas The Night Before Christmas.”

 He described a jolly man, with rosy cheeks and a beard white as snow. He wears small circled glasses and a vibrant red suit.

 He knows each child’s wish and keeps every list, and on Christmas Eve he readies his reindeer and packs up his sleigh.

 When the clock strikes twilight on the Eve of Christmas he departs from the North Pole and begins to deliver the presents across the world.

 Upon entering each home through the chimney, he places the gifts under the tree, and before heading back to his sleigh he has a bite of a cookie and a gulp of milk.

 Once every house has been visited he shouts out at last “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Clement Clarke Moore wrote.

 Early Christmas morning each parent is awakened by the sound of their children’s feet as they run to their bed yelling, “Santa’s here, Santa’s here, come on Mom and Dad get up!”

 The family then gathers around the tree to see the presents left by Santa Clause on Christmas Eve.

 Moore based this story on the real life of St. Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Children.

 St. Nicholas was born during the third century and raised in a village of Patara, on the southern coast of Turkey.

 As a child his parents raised him to be a devout Christian. While he was still young they both died and he inherited his parents wealth.

 He donated much of the money to the poor, the sick and less fortunate.

 As he grew from a child to a young man he devoted himself to his Christian faith and was ordained the Bishop of Myra.

 Throughout his life he was known to be a man filled with great love for children. He gave to them small presents, toys and candies. He also gifted food and money to the poor and tended the needs of the sick and the Union Soldiers.

 He died on Dec 6, A.D. 343.  This day is known among many European countries as St. Nicholas day.

 In honor of St. Nicholas, on the night of the fifth, many children around Europe put their shoes out in hopes of finding candy, coins or other small gifts placed in them in the morning.

 Moore took this tradition and merged it into the story of Santa Clause. He wrote “Twas the Night before Christmas” while on a sleigh ride home from Greenwich Village to Chelsea, which is now NYC, one evening in 1822.

 The story was written for his children and published anonymously in 1823. It wasn’t until 1844 that he took authorship of it when he included it in his volume of works.

 He wrote of children leaving their stockings out on the mantel in hopes to receive candies and toys from Santa.
 He described Santa Clause as a man dressed in red, with a belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly. His sleigh was guided by his nine reindeer and on the Eve of Christmas is when he checks off the items on each child’s list.

 This tail has been told to children for decades now. So for the question asked by many children – is Santa Clause real? – The answer is “yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause.”

 For more information check out www.thebulletin.us.com under St. Nicholas by Emily Rice and www.stnicholascenter.org.