santaiconThe Christmas tree farm has a special relationship with Santa Claus, just like all good boys and girls can. We wanted to offer some background and tools for people to learn more about him. Apparently some people do not believe in Santa, but he is most certainly real.

Santa Claus is the old man who brings gifts to children at Christmas. He is a stout, bearded man in a red, fur-trimmed suit. Santa evolved from a person named Saint Nicholas. Historians know little for certain about him. He was probably born in Patara, which is now Turkey. When he was 19 years old, Nicholas became a priest. He later served as bishop of Myra, near Patara.

According to legend, Saint Nicholas once aided a poor nobleman who had three daughters. No men would marry the daughters because the nobleman did not provide any of them with a dowry. A dowry is money or property that the bride's family gives the bride or the groom or his family when the couple marry. Saint Nicholas threw three bags of money through an open window of the nobleman's house to show that the daughters had dowries. As a result, they were able to marry. The legend of Saint Nicholas as a man who brings gifts developed from this.

The custom of giving gifts on a special day in winter was practiced before Christianity was founded. After Christianity was well established, Saint Nicholas became a symbol of the custom among Christians. During the Reformation of the 1500s, Protestants substituted nonreligious characters for Saint Nicholas. In England, for example, the saint was replaced by a gentleman called Father Christmas. This character was called Père Noël in France and Weinachtsmann in Germany.

The people of the Netherlands were especially fond of Saint Nicholas. The first Dutch settlers who came to America had a figure of Saint Nicholas on the front of their ship. The Dutch settlers maintained their custom of celebrating the saint's feast day on December 6th. They explained that the saint visited their homes and left gifts on Saint Nicholas Eve. In time, English settlers adopted the festivities associated with Saint Nicholas. English-speaking children spoke the Dutch name for the saint, Sinterklaas quickly and so excitedly that it sounded like Santy Claus or Santa Claus.Photograph showing Santa Claus actually visiting at the Christmas Tree Farm

santahugUntil the 1800s, people pictured Saint Nicholas a tall, thin, stately man who wore a bishop's robe and rode a white horse. In 1809, the American author Washington Irving published Knickerbocker's History of New York, in which he presented the saint. Irving described Saint Nicholas as a stout, jolly man who wore a broad-rimmed hat and huge breeches and smoked a long pipe. Irving's Saint Nicholas rode over treetops in a wagon filled with children's stockings and presents.

On December 23, 1823, a poem entitled "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas" appeared in the Troy, New York Sentinel. The poem begins with the familiar line, "'Twas the night before Christmas." Clement Clarke Moore, an American scholar, is generally credited with writing the poem, but Henry Livingston, an American land surveyor, may have written it. In the poem, Saint Nicholas appears as a stout, jolly man with twinkling eyes and a red nose. He wears a suit trimmed with white fur and rides a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. The saint's visit takes place on Christmas Eve.

Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist, completed the present-day image of Santa Claus. Nast created a series of drawings for Harper's Weekly magazine between 1863 and 1886. These drawings represent Santa Claus with a white beard. In various cartoons, Santa is shown working in his shop, driving a sleigh pulled by reindeer or placing toys in stockings hung over a fireplace.

Obviously we would not take so much time to explain Santa if he was not real. In fact, Moore's has special access to what Santa is doing right now. We get updates directly from the North Pole. According to our special data link, which is updated live every two hours, Santa Claus is presently:

Reviewing the lists of boys and girls who have been naughty and nice.