My Favourite Stories #78

The True Story of Santa.

Next Christmas when you stare at the floor covered with Christmas wrappings, please remember that there is more to Christmas than that!

The truth is the chubby old red bloke was born 1700+ years ago in Turkey and he was not chubby at all. He was tall and slender. As a boy Nicholas dearly loved God and entered the ministry at an early age. He persuaded many to believe in Jesus and that angered the Roman officials and they imprisoned and tortured him.

Then Christianity under the Emperor Constantine became popular and he was freed and became a church leader. He became well known for his gift giving, especially to children and so he was loved!

The Dutch kept the story alive with Sint Nikolass and they brought this to America where he became Sinterclaas and then Santa Claus. The Dutch used a wooden shoe which became a stocking in the USA. Americans also added the reindeer and sleigh.

So where did the red suit come from. In 1931 Coca Cola produced advertising with the jolly character we know today dressed in Coca Cola colours. The promotional advertising established Santa as a warm, happy character with human features, including rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes and laughter lines. The commissioned artist (Sundblom) based his paintings for the ads on the poem by Clement Clark Moore that we now know as “T’was the Night Before Christmas” written in 1822. Sprite Boy popped up at this time also. He was dressed in Elf like green.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Clement Clark Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!


To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,


The Real Story Santa was a kind, gentle pastor who loved God and children.

1 Comment
  • Robyn McCormack
    Posted at 10:11h, 24 December Reply

    What a beautiful story but the reason for the season should be Christ

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