A Conversation for Santa Theories

Dropping presents?

Post 1

Researcher 170889

Excellent entry, but I must quibble with the statement that Santa drops presents down the chimney. This would be OK for naughty children, since they deserve to waken to shattered gifts, but the good child deserves better. Santa descends the chimney with his sack and puts the gifts under the tree. How else would he be able to eat the cookies and milk, I leave for him? (To lower risk of his failing to fit down the chimney next year, I leave skim milk). It is ALWAYS gone next day, so Q.E.D. as far as Santa's existence goes. Moreover, one observer of excellent repute in the matter has witnessed Santa's presence within the house and assures us that he exits via the chimney by laying his finger aside of his nose.
One might consider that Santa has a minor lightening of his burden on the 24th-25th since the Russian Orthodox church uses the old calendar and Santa need not show there until Jan 6. This relieves him of covering an enormous area on the 25th. Also, I believe he gets the Netherlands out of the way earlier in December, because of his traditional habit of showing up there on St Nicholas' feastday, rather than on Christmas.

Dropping presents?

Post 2


It isn't Santa who brings presents on Saint Nic(h)olas' feastday (5th of December in the Netherlands, 6th of December in Belgium), it is Saint Nicolas (Sinterklaas, ...) himself. Although Norad sais Santa is Sinterklaas, he isn't. Ask any Belgian/Dutch kid.

The differences:
- Saint Nicolas/Sinterklaas lives in Spain, Santa on the North Pole.
- Sinterklaas rides a (white) horse, Santa has reindeers
- Sinterklaas has black people (called 'Zwarte Pieten') (what's the politically correct word?) helping him, Santa has elfs.
- There both clothed in red, but even their clothes are different.
Sinterklaas wears a mitre (such as the Pope, but a red one with golden cross) and walks with a golden walking stick.

Moreover, both Sinterklaas en Santa (there called 'de Kerstman' or 'Père Noël') BOTH visit the Netherlands and Belgium. The very good children get presents from BOTH, though usually more from Sinterklaas.

In the commercial period of December, one can sometimes see them entertaining kids in shops together or at least not far from each other.

In orther to complicate things further, there's a region in the West of Belgium where Sinterklaas doesn't come; presents are delivered by Saint Maarten on the 11th of December. He too rides a (white) horse and wears a red mitre.

On the border of that region, kids welcome Saint Maarten, Sinterklaas en Santa Claus to town, but they usually get present from only 1 or 2 of them (any combination is possible).

Whether or not there's a relationship between Saint Maarten, Sinterklaas en Santa Claus is unclear. Those who pay attention might notice some family resemblence...

One other mystery to me is why Santa is a h2g2 user (with bold italic user name), but Saint Maarten en Sinterklaas are not. All three of them are said to be very old wise men.)

Dropping presents?

Post 3


Some corrections:

- sais = says
- en = AND
- The Norad Tracks Santa site doesn't say that Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas are one person. Is says that the tradition of Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas merged. Could they be the same person? Only Santa Claus can tell us for sure. I would add to that that Saint Nic(h)olas/Sinterklaas can so too...

Some additions:

- Although Sinterklaas rides a (white) horse, he arrives in the Netherlands by steam bote. This event is broadcasted live on Dutch television.
- Where Saint Maarten lives is not known.
- Although Sinterklaas and Saint Maarten prefer riding their horses, they are known to have taken chopper on some occasions.

Dropping presents?

Post 4


One more corrigendum:

Saint Maarten doesn't deliver presents on the 11th of December, he does so on the 11th of November.

Dropping presents?

Post 5

Zarniroop (er.... I'll think of something amusing to put here soon!)

You seem to have a lot of info on various santa mythologies, this entry only concentrated on the physical attributes and abilities that 'santa' would need. Maybe you should consider an entry on global differences in belief of Santa, Father Xmas, Saint Maarten, et al.


Dropping presents?

Post 6

Martin Harper

Well, Adhemar has conclusively proved that NORAD is a poor source of cultural information... smiley - winkeye

Dropping presents?

Post 7


Yes, I know. Those are quite lengthy replies on the sentence "Also, I believe he gets the Netherlands out of the way earlier in December, because of his traditional habit of showing up there on St Nicholas' feastday, rather than on Christmas." However, in order to be able to write on "global differences" I should also know whether there are or aren't any other similar "children's friends" outside the Netherlands and Belgium. When I have the time, I might get started. Unfortunately, "when I have the time" usually comes about a week after one's death.

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