So, you think you know Santa Claus? You’ve heard the tales, seen the movies, drank the liters of Coca-Cola product, scarred younger relatives with the truth, but you don’t know everything. Santa is like Voltron; he’s made up of so many different yuletide traditions and some are stranger than others. Here are some fantastic facts about everyone’s favorite fat man.
1. Santa and Christmas Were Banned in Early America
Don’t alarm the pundits on Fox News but, as it turns out, the opening shots of the “War on Christmas” started with our Puritan forbearers. Awkward! Puritans in the English Parliament eliminated Christmas as a national holiday in 1645, amid widespread anti-Christmas sentiment. Settlers in New England went even further, outlawing Christmas celebrations entirely in 1659. All forms of Christmas celebration, including invoking any flavor of Santa was penalized. Christmas wasn’t a recognized federal holiday until Ulysses S. Grant formally declared it so in 1870. I choose to believe that Santa used this time to learn cross-stitch.
2. Santa Is BFF’s with Demons
In Alpine countries, Santa rolls with a couple of demons, most notably a handsome chap known as Krampus. Think of it like an extreme form of good cop bad cop; Santa comes in, all jolly and flush with the toys and then BAM! In rolls Krampus with a fork and a dinner roll to pair with little Timmy. Now that’s a cop show worth watching, get on it Hollywood.
3. That Awkward Moment When Santa Was A Goat
Joulupukki, or The Yule Goat is the Finnish ingredient in the origin soup that is Santa Claus. Modern Joulupukki closely resembles the Santa we know but traditionally he was more of a, well, giant goat who begged for Christmas scraps and maybe terrorized children. The guy at Coca-Cola who solidified our Santa Claus imagery was actually the son of Finnish immigrants. This leads me to believe that there are rough drafts of a giant goat gulping down the brown bubbly stuff somewhere. Damn focus groups keeping us from giant goat creatures!
4. The Time Santa Fought Sweeney Todd
Everyone knows that the “Old Saint Nick” part of Santa comes from the Greek bishop St. Nikolaus who was fond of putting gold in children’s shoes and making sure little girls don’t become prostitutes. But when he wasn’t meddling in the affairs of pimps and ho-ho-hos (sorry) he apparently busted up a Butcher’s scam to sell meat pies made out of people. In most stories he turns the meat pies back into their human form which must have been disappointing for the lunch rush crowd.
5. How Santa Got A Sparkly Make-Over To Rival Twilight Vamps
Not only did Martin Luther kick-off the Protestant Reformation, he also took a stab at putting the “Christ” back in Christmas. Luther wanted to replace the Catholic St. Nikolaus with what can only be described as a disco glitter angel baby that looked nothing like the babe from Bethlehem and more like a clutch purse from Lady Gaga’s closet. This Christkindl ended up as a barnacle on the SS Santa while in transit to America or as we know them here, Kris Kringle.
6. Santa Is A Citizen Of Canada
Because Canada clearly has too much time on its hands, Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism declared that Santa Claus is a citizen of Canada in 2008. Santa could do worse, at least he’s somewhere that can effectively treat his diabetes.
Which facts surprised you the most? Or let me guess, you knew them all. Well you’re just so dang smart why don’t you marry your brain. Follow me on Twitter then smarty or leave a comment below about Santa, or something!