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Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'

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CapriUni 20 Dec 04 - 06:02 PM
muppett 17 Dec 04 - 06:25 AM
Paco Rabanne 17 Dec 04 - 06:15 AM
muppett 17 Dec 04 - 04:33 AM
Paco Rabanne 17 Dec 04 - 04:30 AM
muppett 17 Dec 04 - 04:26 AM
CapriUni 16 Dec 04 - 02:20 PM
muppett 16 Dec 04 - 11:40 AM
muppett 16 Dec 04 - 11:39 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Dec 04 - 11:39 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Dec 04 - 11:38 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Dec 04 - 11:38 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Dec 04 - 11:36 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Dec 04 - 11:34 AM
Leadfingers 16 Dec 04 - 11:33 AM
CapriUni 15 Dec 04 - 01:23 PM
CapriUni 13 Dec 04 - 10:34 PM
TheBigPinkLad 13 Dec 04 - 05:28 PM
TheBigPinkLad 13 Dec 04 - 05:26 PM
TheBigPinkLad 13 Dec 04 - 05:22 PM
CapriUni 13 Dec 04 - 05:10 PM
TheBigPinkLad 13 Dec 04 - 04:35 PM
CapriUni 12 Dec 04 - 08:58 PM
Little Hawk 12 Dec 04 - 08:33 PM
CapriUni 12 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 12 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM
Georgiansilver 12 Dec 04 - 07:51 PM
CapriUni 12 Dec 04 - 06:26 PM
CapriUni 07 Dec 04 - 02:43 PM
PoppaGator 06 Dec 04 - 05:07 PM
dianavan 06 Dec 04 - 04:09 PM
dianavan 06 Dec 04 - 03:51 PM
dianavan 06 Dec 04 - 03:42 PM
CapriUni 05 Dec 04 - 09:51 PM
Little Hawk 05 Dec 04 - 08:16 PM
dianavan 05 Dec 04 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Smile 05 Dec 04 - 04:23 PM
Wolfgang 30 Nov 04 - 09:03 AM
CapriUni 29 Nov 04 - 01:04 PM
Little Hawk 28 Nov 04 - 07:20 PM
CapriUni 28 Nov 04 - 04:23 PM
Little Hawk 28 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM
CapriUni 27 Nov 04 - 12:43 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 02:30 AM
dianavan 26 Nov 04 - 01:34 AM
CapriUni 25 Nov 04 - 05:18 PM
dianavan 24 Nov 04 - 10:55 PM
CapriUni 24 Nov 04 - 01:43 PM
Georgiansilver 24 Nov 04 - 03:51 AM
dianavan 24 Nov 04 - 03:15 AM
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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:02 PM

I think (just maybe) I've been putting too much thought-energy into the idea of the Yule Father being the embodiment of the North Wind...(But see here, Furry Nicholas, I've putting a winky-face! I really do luvya!) ;-)

Hasn't gotten above freezing zll day today, and will get even colder tonight. It will warm up Wednesday and Thursday, then, depending on what direction Yule Father flies, we may get snowfall on the 25th.

(That'll teach me to be all bah-humbuggish about Irving Berlin's classic song!)

Oh, and for many years, my mother gave me a Gordon Bok record for Christmas... would that count to make him a Jul Bok? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: muppett
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 06:25 AM

Well it is now, just off to 1st of 3 meetings today,


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 06:15 AM

It's all go in mucky Bratfud eh what?


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: muppett
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:33 AM

Nay I Got in at 8.43, but I had to tune my radio into talk sport for the test match, have me morning crap and make a brew before I switched my computer on.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:30 AM

Morning muppet, you just rolled up then? Some of us have been sat in our Executive swivel chairs since 7.23am (approx)


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: muppett
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:26 AM

Eh up I'm back


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 02:20 PM

Well, I thank you fellers for refreshing this thread, this isn't really the season for mindless bickering...

. . . or is it?


Anyway, I just thought I'd mention that I'm happy with my song, now... and I don't think it's "in progress" anymore...

And still no first literary version of modern "Santa's elves"? Come on, there's got to be some information, somewhere!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: muppett
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:40 AM

Not again, I'm off home, See yer 2morrow!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: muppett
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:39 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:39 AM

100. too late!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:38 AM

99


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:38 AM

98


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:36 AM

97


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:34 AM

Ha! We meet on the battlefield at least Leadfingers you pickerninny!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:33 AM

At 95 I thought I'd put this back up the page for El Ted to try for another 100 !!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 01:23 PM

Just thought I'd let folks know: I've posted a song-in-progress here about this more Pagan-y, dark, and Trickster "Jolly Old Nick"


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 10:34 PM

Thanks for the Mike Harding link... third time's the charm, eh?

While I acknowledge that fly agaric played some role in the legend; it's the reductionist aspect that bothers me most.

Here's a memory flashback: one year in school, our Latin teacher got all the classes together on Dec 13th for a Saturnalia celebration, and true to custom, a man came in dressed as the god Saturn in chains, gave a speach about freedom and the nobility of Man [in Latin]. Then, after the student acting as the priest broke the chains, "Saturn" passed out cookies shaped like himself... sorta. The teacher couldn't get her hands on "Saturn" cookies... so he passed around "Santa" cookies instead.

Odin, Saturn... there seems to be a whole sky-god thing, going on, doesn't there?


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 05:28 PM

hmmm ... one more time: http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 05:26 PM

Oh dear (or maybe Oh deer) that link is naff. Go to his main page and click the link: www.mikeharding.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 05:22 PM

I agree the Clement Moore tie-ins are a stretch, but Nordic mythology describes Odin himself as coming to Earth in the darkest days of winter to present children and poor people with gifts (usually of food) and the shamans of the same descent used to eat the fly agaric and save their urine for communnal jollity. The kidneys effectively filter the toxins and leave the hallucinogen. Don't try this at home -- shamans practiced over years eating minute quantities and building up some tolerance (think of Rasputin) but they didn't live very long enough to develop kidney failure anyway.

Many UK Catters will know Mike Harding is a Green Man afficianado.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 05:10 PM

Interesting, oh Pink one....

But I get just a wee bit frustrated by the "It's all psychadelic drugs, man!" explanation. Besides, while Clement Clarke Moore's depiction is the most famous, today, it's not the only, or even the oldest, out there. I certainly don't think that he had any deep meaning in mind when he invented the name of the reindeer, besides whimsy and something that would flesh out the poem while fitting in anapestic tetrameter.

I agree with his point about "Santa" being the embodiment of male power and magic, though.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 04:35 PM

Lots of Santa speculation here http://solsticestudios.net/santawriting.htm


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 08:58 PM

May I recomend Terry Pratchett's Discworld book 'Hogfather'

You most certainly may. A good friend gave me that book as a Christmas Pressie a few years back, and I enjoyed it mightily.

I also recommend Tim Burton's film The Nightmare Before Christmas, for that old-time spooky feeling for the holiday.

And one more note in reply to Georgiansilver's comment, above (or below, if you're reading this thread in descending order ;-)):

Ms. Siefker points out that when the Christian, persona-of-the-Turkish-Bishop-Saint-Nicholas traveled from house to house, he always had a devil figure in tow, with blackened face, and a chain about his neck. The Saint represented goodness and forgiveness, and the devil (sometimes called Black Pete, or Knecht Ruprecht) repesented the punishments of Hell.

But sometimes, Knecht Ruprecht traveled alone, and when he did so, he embodied both punishment and forgiveness. Eventually, he took on Saint Nicholas's name, as well as his forgiving side.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 08:33 PM

If I had been Santa Claus back in the 50's I would have been trying to find out where Eartha Kitt lived ASAP!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM

Nods.

As has oft been speculated, the image of Satan with horns and tail is thought to be an attempt by the early Christian missionaries to discredit the God/s of the polytheistic Nature-worshipers they were trying to convert.

One image of him is the personification of pure evil, the other evolved (in today's culture) in the personifican of pure generosity.

And one nickname for Satan is "Old Nick"...


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM

May I recomend Terry Pratchett's Discworld book 'Hogfather' as Christmas reading - it combines a lot of myths and it is good fun.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 07:51 PM

Santa.....satan


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 06:26 PM

Surely, this excerpt is one explaination to the question of where 'Santa Claus' got his reindeer:

From Santa Claus: Last of the Wild Men by Phyllis Siefker (1997, MacFarland and Company, Publishers):

. . . Dressed in goatskins and wearing a frightening mask and horns, the Yule buck visited children's houses, giving gifts and threatening the nonconformists. Sometimes this character, wearing a buck head, "went after" children. In some areas, the Julbok survived as a straw puppet tossed from hand to hand in games, and in still others, survived only as a buck-shaped cake.

According to Ruth Cole Kainen, in America's Christmas Heritage, the Yule buck is one European creature who made the crossing to America, where he lived on on Hatteras Island, North Carolina, late into the 1700's. Christmas there began with a parade of fife and drums, and shortly before dark the townsfolk dressed in "grotesque" costumes. Then Old Buck emerged from the woods, where he had lived all year. With a steer's head and horns on a pole body covered in quilts and adorned with a bell, Old Buck rushed at the crowds awaiting him.

[. . . ]

The Julbok survived in another capacity, pulling the sled for the gift-giver known as Jultomten, a Yule elf. [. . .]

Despite Jultomten's popularization as a fun-loving gift giver, however, an undercurrent of fear lives on at Sweedish Christmas. Adults in the mid-twentiethe century considered Jultomten a destructive spirit, and set out porridge and milk on Christmas Eve in the hopes of warding off his malevolence. And, although the Yule goblin brings gifts, there is a dark side to the visit as well, and the whole family sleeps together on the floor on Christmas Eve as protection against the goblins who roam the earth during Yuletide.

---
(pages 159-160)

And tonight, in Iceland, the first of the Yule lads, "Stiff Legs," arrives.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 02:43 PM

My links weren't very good. I think the elf idea originated in Iceland.

Yes.... sort of.

There's a thread about that started by Mudcat's own Skarpi (a native of Iceland), here: The trolls and fairy's of Iceland (which I've just refreshed).

What I'm interested in is their first modern incarnation, just as the eight reindeer and their individual names came from "A Visit From Saint Nicholas."

Was Rudolph really their first appearance? I would have thought they were older...

And did you know that the poor ad writer for Montgomery Ward's never got a penny in royalties for his labors?

I'm not fond of the Rudolph story, myself, but still -- that's just a crime!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 05:07 PM

According to the movie "Elf," (which I recommend highly, after missing it in theaters last year and then renting the DVD just recently):

There are only three jobs open to elves (elfs?):

1) Making shoes all night while the lazy-ass cobbler sleeps;

2) Baking cookies inside trees, which is a fire hazard in dry season; and

3) making toys in Santa's workshop.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 04:09 PM

Sorry, Capri Uni - I thought you were Carol C.

My links weren't very good. I think the elf idea originated in Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 03:51 PM

I think I found the answer for you Carol. "In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toy-shop workers are elves. Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, with a red and shiny nose, was invented in 1939 by an advertising writer for the Montgomery Ward Company."


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 03:42 PM

Maybe he borrowed Snow Whites, dwarfs and re-named them elves. Or maybe that idea was combined with the Elves and the Shoemaker - elves being more idustrious than dwarfs.

Now I'm curious...


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 09:51 PM

hmmm... still no answer to my question of when (and where) the first modern images of Santa's elves come up, then?

I tried doing a google search with the keywords "Santa's elves" 'literary,' and 'history.' I searched via Ask Jeeves, and Yahoo -- nothing.

Any other ideas?


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 08:16 PM

That is an excellent idea, Wolfgang! Very good plot device.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 07:02 PM

If you don't believe in Santa Claus, he can't bring you any presents, can he?


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: GUEST,Smile
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 04:23 PM

I think this information is stupid.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 09:03 AM

I also could write such a crime novel about serial killings of SCs. But in my book, the seriality would only be a cover for the real motive which would be on a completely personal level against one particular of the SCs (And I would hope nobody spots the similarity of the idea to one Agatha Christie story.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 01:04 PM

I knew you weren't really frustrated, LH. That's why I put the winky face up there.

The "Santas" would probably be using their official role as a cover to deal dope, falsify election results, trade in white (and other brands of) slavery, that sort of thing...

I always thought there was something fishy about that elf workshop...

Speaking of which, and getting back to the folklore angle: I think the first mention of the team of specifically 8 reindeer (and their names) dates back to that "Visit From Saint Nicholas," but what was the first reference to Santa's elves (in their modern form at least)?

Just wondering...


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 07:20 PM

No, I'm not frustrated, it just appeals to my twisted sense of humour... :-)

Carl Hiassen writes what I think would be defined as "satirical crime novels". They ruthlessly lampoon the more corrupt social and political aspects and the seamy lowlife characters of the state of Florida in its present hideous state of devolution.

Read 'em for a good laugh! Drive-by shootings of Santa Clauses in Florida would be specially funny, because it doesn't even snow there. Most of the "Santa" characters would themselves be so basically rotten at heart that you wouldn't mind reading about them getting shot. You would begin to think of the killer as a public benefactor. The "Santas" would probably be using their official role as a cover to deal dope, falsify election results, trade in white (and other brands of) slavery, that sort of thing...


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 04:23 PM

Gee, LH, sounds like you got some pent up frustration, there... :-)

I know this is risking thread creep, but ...

I'm not familiar with Carl Hiassen's work. What sort of thing has he done?

On a more related topic, I've been contemplating a sort of Pagan "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" ... I know there's a filk to that tune already out there, but I was thinking of writing a song more in tone with "A visit from Saint Nicholas" (or at least written to that rhythm, maybe), where it's clear that Santa is a force of nature.

Hmmm... It will have to wait until I get home to my own 'puter, though, where I can fiddle around with Noteworthy Composer...


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM

I long to write a humorous satirical novel about a serial killer who does drive-by shootings of Santa Clauses during the festive season...

It would be in the general style of Carl Hiassen books.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:43 PM

AIUI, it was Coca-Cola's advertising executives who decided to to give the Nast-style "Santa" his red and white suit -- to match their logo.

And yes, I remember reading that Moore might have stolen credit for "A visit from Saint Nicholas," but I can't remember the details about that.

In any case, that "right jolly old elf" certainly wasn't wearing red -- "He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot," and "was covered all over in ashes and soot." Unless there is a fur-bearing mammal with a berry-red pelt out there in the world, somewhere, that makes me think "Moore's" Santa was wearing a mixture of browns, greys, and perhaps whites.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:30 AM

Clement Moore (or whoever actually the wrote the poem for which he may have stolen credit) and cartoonist Thomas Nast did a great deal to ingrain Santa Claus into American popular culture; I believe this occurred no later than the 1880s, *well* before Coca Cola would achieve nationwide visibility.

That said, Coke advertising did everything it could to capitalize on Santa's popularity, and their early-20th-century full-color magazine ads probably served to standardize our shared image of Santa's appearance. If I'm not mistaken, I think I remember reading that one particular commerical artist created the Coca Cola Santa Claus, and of course renewed that image with multiple new illustations every year. Sorry ~ can't recall his name.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 01:34 AM

My daughter says that coca cola invented Santa Claus or at least made the image popular to consumers.

d


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 05:18 PM

My grandfather was born in Denmark

Ah! :-) So now, when I think of the blue wooden Santa of my childhood, I shall think of it as being velvet, rather than, say, ...tweed.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 10:55 PM

I grew up in the States. My grandfather was born in Denmark. Since my dad was Native, all of our Christmas traditions were handed down from the European side. We even celebrated the Lucia Bride festival. My cousins were blonde, blue-eyed, virginal brides with wreathes of candles around their heads. I was very envious. I was a little too dark to join the procession but it was a beautiful ceremony.

d


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: CapriUni
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 01:43 PM

Dianavan --

Nowadays its all Santa and the kids are so hyped, its all over the top. Seems to me that Black Peter kinda kept it all a little more in check. By the way - our St. Nick wore blue velvet.

:::Nods::: Well, Phyllis Siefker, who wrote that book that inspired this thread, points out that our modern-day "Santa" has more in common with Black Pete then the Saint proper. But I agree with you ( that the modern-day Santa is too tame and all sweetness. I think Santa should be made a little bit more wild and scary again.

What you say we go down to the mall with picket signs, and hold a demonstration to "Free Santa"?

BTW, what country did you grow up in, that your St. Nick wore blue?


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 03:51 AM

I learnt at school the Santa Claus came from the European Saint Nicholas which is pronounced San Niklaus...ie San Niklaus became Santa Claus..To me that is a creditable derivation.
Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'
From: dianavan
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 03:15 AM

I grew up with the notion of Black Peter (that was actually my granfather's nickname aka Black Pete) and I can tell you he was no laughing matter. We were as good as gold during the holiday season because we did not want to get coal in our stockings. Worse yet, if you were small enough, he might even put you in Santa's bag after it was empty and take you away.

Sounds scary but I now see Black Peter as a balance to St. Nick.

Nowadays its all Santa and the kids are so hyped, its all over the top. Seems to me that Black Peter kinda kept it all a little more in check. By the way - our St. Nick wore blue velvet.

d


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