The truth about jolly St. Nick

Rakim Hill, Reporter

We all know of the jolly, loving legend that delivers good boys and girls presents on Christmas, but many do not know of the origin of St. Nick or Saint Nicholas, better known worldwide as Santa Claus. This legend began hundreds of years ago by a monk named St. Nick, a shortened form of the Dutch Sint Nikolaas. This monk was known for being “the protector of children and sailor” from his generosity towards gifting them presents. St. Nick had a Dutch name, pronounced “Sinter Klaas,” which evolved into Santa Claus. Santa is the most well-known Christmas character, but many don’t know how he became so popular.  

Santa Claus was introduced to American culture near the end of the 18th century and as his good deeds were heard, it began to spread. In Dec. 1773 and 1774, New York newspaper reporters reported groups of Dutch families honoring the anniversary of St. Nicks death. With Christmas around the corner, kids can’t wait to unwrap their presents from under the tree.  

How does Santa deliver all of these presents? It’s a worldwide myth that Santa flies from house to house on his sled, pulled by magical flying reindeer delivering presents to every good boy and girl. But how did these myths begin? Well, a poem written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822 titled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” shaped the modern image of St. Nick as Santa, climbing down a chimney, as well as his 8 flying reindeer pulling him through the sky from house to house. Now that you know the truth about jolly Saint Nick, enjoy Christmas. It is a time to spend with family and loved ones and to have fun. Merry Christmas!