Santa Claus has been the symbol of Christmas for time immemorial. He has been celebrated as the figure who brings forth happiness and joy to good people during the Christmas eve, dropping gifts through their chimneys. However, the existence of Santa Claus has itself become a point of debate and contention among people, some of whom think that the figure is just an invention of creative people, while others hold him close to their beliefs. Santa Claus came into the popular conscious in 19th century with a poem, “A visit from St Nicholas” written by Thomas Nast.
The earliest evidence of Santa Claus comes from the Saint Nicholas of Myra, who was from Greek and known for his compassion and generosity. He was also a steadfast Christian, and is remembered for granting dowry to three women so that they wouldn’t have to become prostitutes. He does not wear the traditional costume of Santa Claus, and is depicted by wearing a simple robe and having a white beard.
In British culture, he is also known as Father Christmas, as he was portrayed having a potbelly, a bushy beard and having joyous and hearty characteristics. The celebration for the day was shifted from 6th December, the birthday of Saint Nicholas, to 25 December, as it is celebrated today.
The figure of Santa Claus has been lampooned and caricatured for both entertainment and Political means. Some people have objected to his existence and laughed at the idea of a man riding on a sledge, that is being dragged by magical reindeer could ever drop gifts down the chimneys of other people. And although the practice of presenting gifts to children is something that is performed by their parents while they’re asleep, some groups, particularly Christians, do believe in the figure, even if it might not be in the shape of Santa Claus.
Recently, people have also objected about the portrayal of Santa Claus as a black or a gay man, stating that it hurts their feelings and its wrong to stray away from the traditional portrayal of the famous figure. Still, people are going to celebrate the Christmas Day for many years to come, and Santa Claus is going to endure as the symbol of the festive season likewise.