Whether you call him Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or St. Nicholas, he is undeniably a part of Christmas around the world! Check out these fun facts about Santa, and feel free to add some international flare to your own version of Old St. Nick!
Believe it or not, when Father Christmas arrives in Australia he comes by surfboard! Can you imagine Santa in board shorts and no shirt? It is summer down there after all.
Grandfather Christmas has a bit of help in this very large country. A Babushka (an elderly woman) turned down the opportunity to visit Jesus with the three wise men. She is so overcome with guilt that she fills her basket with treats for children every year and delivers them to the Russian children with Santa.
As you remember from my Christmas Foods Around the World post, the Japanese do not officially recognize Christmas as a national holiday. But the little Japanese boys and girls are not left out of the fun! Hoteiosho, a Buddhist monk rumored to have eyes in the back of his head, carries a large bag of presents to every home. Sound familiar?
Santa does not travel alone in France. He rides a donkey named Gui (“Mistletoe”) and brings along his little friend Pere Fouettard. The good girls and boys leave their shoes by the fireplace for treats from Santa. But Pere whips the bad boys and girls with rusty chains! That would sure make me behave all year long!
Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa Claus, has three whole weeks to deliver gifts! He flies with a white horse and drops gifts down the chimneys. His comrades kidnap the bad little girls and boys and take them back to Spain, where Sinterklaas resides all year long!
Santa is a “jolly old elf,” according to the famous poem, “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” He carries a big sack and delivers presents to girls and boys who have been good all year round. How does he do it all in one night? His magical sleigh led by reindeer, of course! His adoring public leave cookies and milk for him to thank him for the gifts he leaves in their stockings by the chimney!
What do you believe about Santa?