The Evolution Of Santa Claus Through History

2336 words - 9 pages


The evolution of the figure known as Santa Claus may be traced through religious, mythological, and cultural portrayals from the fourth century A.D. to the present.

Through extensive research and quoted material, this paper will display how the legend of Santa Claus has grown and developed through history to become a modern day icon of the Christmas holiday season.

Carols, snow, mistletoe, cookies and milk. These are all synonymous with the Christmas season. However, for many, the true staple of Christmas is Santa Claus. Every child has felt the joy of Christmas Eve, spending time with family, leaving treats out for Santa, tossing and turning in their beds in anticipation for old St. Nick’s arrival. Although what Santa does is well known, his origins are slightly less familiar to most. The man we identify with Christmas has developed over a long time and has encountered many changes. “The original St. Nicholas is for the most part a shadowy figure, lost in historical mists and religious myths. (Myers 318).
Despite the fact that the idea of giving presents developed from St. Nicholas in the fourth century, the first characters that resemble our modern day Santa developed in the seventeenth century A.D. We acquire these figures from the English and the Dutch. Although this man is not the same as the modern Santa Claus, it is evident that these are his origins. “When the Dutch lost control of New Amsterdam to the English in the seventeenth century, Sinterklaas gradually became anglicized into Santa Claus and acquired some of the features of the English Father Christmas” (Myers 321).
Santa Claus is a character that has been changed and modified throughout history. Religion, mythology, and personal opinion have all had a significant impact on his development. However, Santa’s personality and objective have generally remained the same. Without a doubt Santa now holds a permanent position in society. “His dominion has steadily increased and it appears that he will reign all over Christendom as the king of Christmas” (Hottes 38).

Saint Nicholas was born in Myra in the late third century A.D. He was a native of Lycia, Asia Minor, where St. Paul established the faith. Nicholas was made the archbishop of Myra. He was dedicated to his faith and demonstrated this through his actions. He is credited with a few miracles. On one occasion he restored three boys to life after they were brutally murdered by an innkeeper. Nicholas also save a father from having to give his three daughters to prostitution. He threw in three bags of gold, enough to pay sufficient dowries for their marriages. These stories are a basis of his veneration as a patron of children. Although Nichols led a rewarding life, he faced many struggles along the way. “Greek historians say that he suffered imprisonment and torture for the faith with many other Christians, but...

Find Another Essay On The Evolution of Santa Claus Through History

Christmas, Retailers, and the Santa Claus Conspiracy. Familiar essay about the holiday season that I'm kind of proud of. Personal essay

950 words - 4 pages him what they 'really' want (strangely enough there are some parents out there who actually pay money each year to have this abuse inflicted upon their children).The whole idea of Santa Claus is one of the scariest I've come across and yet we embrace it. The entire story sounds like something you should threaten your kid with if he doesn't want to eat his veggies. As I understand it he's supposed to be a fat man wearing red underwear who is

Evolution Through the Influence of God

2052 words - 8 pages evolution. This group believes that evolution is occurring, but that God created the start of all life. There are three main notions of the origin of life, evolution, creationism, and intelligent design. The first theory, evolution, explains how life on Earth formed and how organisms adapted through generations. Scientists have studied the theory for years and have added their own ideas and findings. One scientists Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

The Evolution of Speed Through Technology

1640 words - 7 pages The Evolution of Speed Through Technology Virilio and Gleick use speed as an analytic tool/concept to understand post-contemporary society. Both authors trace the evolution of speed through technology. However, Virilio sees the evolution of speed through war and Gleick analyses speed through the evolution of "time". Virilio?s technological military determinism in ?Speed and

The History of Human Evolution

1664 words - 7 pages The History of Human Evolution By definition, human evolution is the development, both biological and cultural, of humans. Human ideologies of how the evolution of man came to be is determined by cultural beliefs that have been adopted by societies going back as far as the Upper Paleolithic era, some 40,000 years ago. Through the study of paleoanthropology, we have come to determine that a human is any member belonging to the species

The Evolution of War Through Technology

968 words - 4 pages Wars have extended over the course of human civilization. From the earliest prehistoric wars to the current wars in the Middle East, improvements in technology vastly impacted the evolution of war. The industrial revolution inspired new forms of technology and enabled the mass development of arms. Additionally, new methods of communication and medicine influenced a transformation to modern warfare. This, in turn, ultimately transformed the

The History of Hominid Evolution

1126 words - 5 pages What evidence shows the changing from the early hominids to the modern humans? Throughout the human evolution body parts like legs and harms have changed for the better. By the early hominids being biped, meaning they are able to stand and even walk on two feet, it helped them to be able to do more things like getting around more and help with their tool making and hunting. A lot of the fossils discovered were found in the Great Rift Valley

The Boardwalk of Santa Cruz

1066 words - 4 pages The Boardwalk of Santa Cruz "Keifer Sutherland blockbuster Lost Boys filmed on this spot," proclaimed the self-important plaque. It was mounted on a wall along a long flight of log stairs. As I looked back, miles of beach stretched out before me and, across the bay, I could see red, blue, orange lights whirling high above the crowds upon a huge wheel. We made our way back to where the steps met back up with the sidewalk alongside

The History of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

1045 words - 4 pages Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. (Dobzhanski, 1973) It was during his journey on board the Beagle that Darwin developed his theory of evolution. “On the Origin of Species” (Darwin, 1859) proposed two main principles: evolution really occurs and natural selection is its mechanism. This work published on 24th November 1859 traces a coherent portrait of life bringing together in an orderly manner an

The History and Evolution of Dogs

3672 words - 15 pages those particular individuals, so over time those qualities are passed on from generation to generation and eventually will become a new species much like the phenomenon that occurs in natural selection (Harris 3). Dog’s evolution through artificial selection The earlier of theories on why dogs came into existence involves artificial selection. The theory is that in pre historic times, man began to capture wolf puppies and bring them back to

The History and Evolution of Tai Chi

997 words - 4 pages The History and Evolution of Tai Chi Tai Chi is a result of the Chinese Taoists. The Taoists in their observation of nature found nothing was entirely still. If prey stayed in one place, the beasts of the forest would take advantage. They also found that this principle applied to humans as well and that if they remain stagnant, it opened the door for disease and old age. From this revelation, the Taoists began creating martial art forms

The Evolution of Bicycles Throughout History

1691 words - 7 pages called the Draisienne that was invented by Baron Von Drais in 1817: “…a walking machine that would help him get around the royal gardens faster: two same-size in-line wheels, the front one steerable, mounted in a frame which you straddled… The device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground, thus rolling yourself and the device forward in a sort of gliding walk” (A Quick History 1). This bike was entirely made out of wood where as

Similar Essays

A Creative Writing Piece On A Day Of Work Experience At A Nursery; Through The Eyes Of An Alien. (Title Santa Claus Is Coming To Town)

4086 words - 16 pages , the Singing Christmas Tree. They were almost as divine as the Christmas Tree itself, but being my first love, it was irreplaceable.My tempo in the hollow cube continued as the rehearsal of the song "Santa Claus is coming to Town" continued. Unexpectedly, my special person, Sukhvir started to communicate through the hole in the front of her head, with another human being. They were talking about a secret "Christmas production" because they were

The Leadership Secrets Of Santa Claus

735 words - 3 pages The following is a book report about: The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus, and was written by, (Cottrell, et al., 2003). This is an eighty-page leadership skill-building book, published by the Performance Systems Corporation in 2003. There are eight main points (Santa Secrets) discussed by the authors in this book and I agree with them all. However, I will attempt to reveal why I agree that to “Build A Wonderful Workshop” is important

Use Of Logos, Ethos, And Pathos In The Article, Is Santa Claus A Conspiracy?

1270 words - 5 pages support good, and even so would that still qualify as a bad thing? “We sometimes knowingly lie or overlook a lie if the reason is to support ‘good’” (Mock p4). The legend of Santa Claus can be the lure to which mankind falls into a ploy of conspiracy that may fortify a manipulative mindset and devious conduct in people. This article is a good example of how conspiracy theorist can appeal to readers through persuasion by the use of three kinds of

The Evolution Of Music Through History

2419 words - 10 pages Prehistoric Music categorizes all music that was created in the preliterate age (a period before any cultures had created a system to read and write.) Because it’s occurrence was prior to recorded history, the origin of music is still unknown; however, some believe that it’s creation was stemmed through the occurrence of natural sounds and rhythms. Humans may have learned to incorporate these natural sounds into their music by using patterns