Friday, January 1, 2021 4:58 PM Posted by writeSantaletter.comSanta Claus

Santa Claus

letters from santa clausThe modern portrayal of Santa Claus frequently depicts him listening to the Christmas wishes of young children.

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply "Santa", is a legendary figure who, in many Western cultures, brings gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24 or on his Feast Day, December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day). The legend may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas. A nearly identical story is attributed by Greek and Byzantine folklore to Basil of Caesarea. Basil's feast day on January 1 is considered the time of exchanging gifts in Greece.

While Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop's robes, today Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, he is often depicted in a manner identical to the American Santa Claus, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

A well-known folk legend associated with Santa Claus says that he lives in the far north, in a land of perpetual snow. The American version of Santa Claus says that he lives at his house on the North Pole, while Father Christmas is often said to reside in the mountains of Korvatunturi in Lapland Province, Finland. Santa Claus lives with his wife Mrs. Claus, a countless number of magical elves, and eight or nine flying reindeer. Another legend of Santa Claus says that he makes a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior ("naughty" or "nice") and that he delivers presents, including toys, candy, and other gifts to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.

Friday, January 1, 2021 4:58 PM Posted by writeSantaletter.comRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerFor most of us, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" has always been a part of our Christmas celebrations. Rudolph is definitely a twentieth century creation, as he is one of the few legends that can be traced to a specific date and person.

In 1939, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was created for Montgomery Ward Department Stores by copywriter Robert L. May. At the request of his employer, May came up with a poem about a misfit reindeer that the store could use as a promotional piece during the holiday season.

May patterned his story after The Ugly Duckling, deciding on an underdog reindeer with a red nose. The story was written in verse and May's four year old daughter loved it. His boss wasn't as sure and he was worried about a story featuring a red nose -- an image often associated with drinking. But a friend of May's from the art department went to Lincoln Park Zoo and sketched some reindeer with red noses. May's boss was pleased and the story was printed.

By the end of 1946, over six million copies of the story had been handed out to eager shoppers. In 1947, May obtained a copyright for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and it was printed commercially. That year a nine minute cartoon was produced and shown in theatres and Rudolph's popularity soared.

May's brother-in-law was songwriter Johnny Marks and he developed the lyrics and melody for the tune "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." In 1949, Gene Autry recorded it and two million copies were sold. It went on to become one of the most popular Christmas tunes of all times. In 1964, a program about Rudolph, narrated by Burl Ives, was produced for television and remains popular today.

Song Playing
Album Artist: Mannheim Steamroller
Album Name: Christmas In The Aire
Title Song: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

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