2023 Home For The Holidays

Page 37 2023 Home For The Holidays Lincoln Daily News November 23, 2022 Nicholas’ popularity spread, he became known as the protector of children and sailors. The day of his death, December 6, is celebrated with a feast. It was the custom for parents to secretly leave little gifts for their children who were taught to believe they were from St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas comes to the New World The first Europeans to arrive in the New World brought St. Nicholas. December 6, 1492, Colombus named a Haitian port for St. Nicholas. Spaniards named what is now the St. Nicholas neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida Nicholas Ferry. The 16th century Protestant Reformation all but eliminated talk of the saints, but the traditions of St. Nicholas survived. The St. Nicholas customs moved beyond church into popular culture. It was also in this era that St. Nicholas’ mode of entry changed from windows to chimneys. Sinter Klaas in New York The name Santa Claus is derived from St. Nicholas’ Dutch Nickname, Sinter Klaas. In December of 1773 a New York Newspaper reported that Dutch families were gathering to honor St. Nicholas on December 6, the anniversary of his death. Over time the stories of St. Nicholas became less popular and gift giving in December became problematic. Parents wanted to still secretly give their children gifts, but in whose name? That job soon fell to Baby Jesus and what we now know as Christmas was changed from being celebrated on December 6th to December 25th. Santa Claus is Coming to Town The New York Historical Society held it’s first St. Nicholas anniversary dinner in 1810. An artist was commissioned to create the first American image of Nicholas for the occasion. He was depicted giving gifts and placing treats in stockings hung by a fireplace. The 19th Century was a turning point for what we now know as Santa Claus. Many New York writers and artists wanted to Americanize the holiday. Santa Claus, The Children’s Friend, written in 1821 was the first-time images of Santa Claus were not of a saintly robed bishop to a jolly man from the North flying in a sleigh with reindeer. In 1824 Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem “A visit from St. Nicholas.” This poem is now better known as “The Night Before Christmas”. Santa Claus was described Continued --