Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas or Kris Kringle Legends and Prayer On Christmas Eve

Children in countries around the world await a visit from a mysterious bringer of gifts at Christmas time. He is always a kindly man who brings them toys, other presents. or money. We know him as Santa Claus, but in many other countries he is called by other names.

Christmas is one of the most popular festivals around the world. It is celebrated in order to commemorate the birth of Lord Christ, the founder of the Christianity religion. As the festival is celebrated from a long time, there have been several new additions in the traditions and rituals of the festival since it started. The concept of ‘Santa Claus’ bringing gifts for kids is one of them. However, with time Santa Claus has become so much a part of this festival that at least kids can’t look beyond Santa Claus when Christmas is arriving.

The Legend

Strictly speaking, the tradition of St. Nicholas is not synonomous with the role of Santa Claus in the U.S.. As practiced in many European countries, the celebration of St. Nicholas is separate from the Christmas holidays, and occurs during the 2 weeks prior to December 6th, which is St. Nicholas’s day. Sometimes St. Nicholas Day is the main holiday for gift giving, and not Christmas.

In the Netherlands, legend has it that Sinterklaas (Dutch name for St. Nicholas) arrives in the Netherlands by way of steamboat from Spain 2 weeks before his traditional birthday, December 6th, along with his helper, Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), who will help disperse the gifts and candy to all the good children. Sinterklaas, along with the zwarte piets, will go abroad at night and stride about the countryside wearing his red mantle, his mitre, and his golden crosier and sporting a long, white beard. Referring to his book that lists all the good and bad children, Sinterklaas will deliver presents to all the good children, but watch out if you’ve been bad! The bad children may be taken back to Spain with him. The Low Countries (Belgium and Luxemburg) have basically the same traditions surrounding St. Nicholas, but not to the extent of the Netherlands. Children in Luxemburg call him Kleeschen, and his helper is Hoseker (Black Peter). Belgian children know him as Sint Niklaas.

Santa-Claus-Coming

In Germany, St. Nicholas is also known as Klaasbuur, Sunnercla, Burklaas, Bullerklaas, and Rauklas, and in eastern Germany, he is also known as Shaggy Goat, Ash Man and Rider and is more reflective of earlier pagan influences (Norse) that were blended in with the figure of St. Nicholas, when Christianity came to Germany. After the reformation, St. Nicholas’s attire began to change, maybe as a reflection of the change from the Roman church, and he started to wear a red suit with fur. His dark-skinned helper is most often known as Knecht Ruprecht. Although he still visits many homes on Dec 5th/6th and leaves candy and gifts in the children’s shoes, more recently St. Nicholas has begun showing up on Christmas Eve in Germany and is called Father Christmas.

In France, he is now called Pere Noel (Father Christmas) and he travels in the company of Pere Fouettard. Pere Noel leaves presents for good children, while Pere Fouettard disciplines bad children with a spanking. Pere Noel only sometimes leaves presents on St. Nicholas day, more often now on Christmas. St. Nicholas day was celebrated formerly in Russia, but under Communism he was changed to Grandfather Frost and wore blue instead of red. In Sicily, he comes on Dec 13th and is called Santa Lucia.

What other names is Santa Claus or Father Christmas known by?

Weihnachtsmann in Germany for “Christmas man”
Kris Kringle from the southern Germany Christkindle, meaning “Christ child.” This mutated in some areas of the world into a name for Santa Claus.
Pere Noel in France
Papa Noel in many Spanish speaking countries
Sinter Claus (or Sinterklaas, Sinte Klaas) in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City)
Other variations of his name range from Sant Nikolaas to Sante Klaas
The Italian Befana is a similar figure as is Russia’s grandmotherly Babouschka.
Denmark he’s called “Julemanden” (“Christmas Man”)
Joulupukki (“Yule Buck”), evolved from the “Christmas Goat” used to frighten children in Finland. Korvatunturi (Mount Ear, near Polar Circle) is often portrayed as his home. The children see Santa and he asks if they have been good.
Nicholas of Bari
Nicholas of Myra

SANTA-CLAUS-listening

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN”

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He’s making a list and checking it twice,
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice,
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake,
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town.

SANTA-CLAUS-baby

SANTA’S PRAYER On Christmas Eve

The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed,
But Santa still knelt by the side of his bed.

“Dear Father,” he prayed “Be with me tonight.
There’s much work to do and my schedule is tight.

I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky,
Knowing full well that a reindeer can’t fly.

I will visit each household before the first light,
I’ll cover the world and all in one night.

With sleighbells a-ringing, I’ll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter of each little hoof.

To get in the house is the difficult part,
So I’ll slide down the chimney of each child’s heart.

My sack will hold toys to grant all their wishes.
The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.

I will fill all the stockings and not leave a track.
I’ll eat every cookie that is left for my snack.

I can do all these things, Lord, Only Through You!
I just need your blessing, then it’s easy to do.

All this to honor the birth of the ONE,
That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.

So, to all of my friends, least Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them who gave me this job.”

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Amarendra Bhushan

CEO and Editorial Director at CEOWORLD Magazine
Amarendra is the Chief Executive Officer and Editorial Director at CEOWORLD Magazine, and is responsible for all business management, company operations, finance, and social advertising operations.
Email- amar@ceoworld.biz
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About the Author

Amarendra is the Chief Executive Officer and Editorial Director at CEOWORLD Magazine, and is responsible for all business management, company operations, finance, and social advertising operations. Email- amar@ceoworld.biz