Who is Santa Claus? Is Santa Claus real?
To believe or not to believe in Santa Claus? If your child has doubts, here are some tips for responding well to questions.
Each end of the year ends with a flourish for the children, with gifts in their shoes at the beginning of December for Saint-Nicolas. Then Santa Claus who goes down by the fireplace to bring the gifts, which his elves have made, at the foot of the tree. A beautiful period which is coming to an end. But a period rich in questions for children. "How can Saint Nicholas and Father Christmas bring us presents when we don't have a fireplace?" Or again: "does Santa Claus really exist?"
It is not always easy as parents to find the right words in these somewhat special moments. Rest assured, there are never right or wrong answers. "Each parent should explain it as they see fit, but not making fun of their child," explains child and adolescent psychologist Soline from Udekem.
This step is more than just believing or not believing. This is the moment when the child will separate the real from the imaginary. "It goes beyond Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas or the Little Mouse, it's also realizing that princesses in cartoons, monsters under the bed or even unicorns are not real." This awareness normally occurs around the age of 8.
Is there an age?
It's like everything, it depends on the maturity of each child. “Usually parents feel if it is the right time or not to say it. Now if the child is 3 years old, it is different. If he asks the question of whether Saint Nicholas exists the answer can simply be 'yes' at that age ", continues Soline d'Udekem.
Keep in mind that you should not force a child to believe this if they have questions and are mature enough. "Often, it's around the age of 7 or 8. Now if he already understands at 6, it will be at that age. The goal is not to take his child for dumber than he is. If he has doubts, he will understand. You have to be transparent. Otherwise the child will no longer trust his parents. " There is now a limit to all these beliefs, "I think the limit is at the end of the primary. Beyond that, the child will be subject to teasing," said the psychologist.
And if the big brother or the big sister puts a grain of salt in wanting to reveal this sweet dream to the little ones in the family, it is important to remember that he believed in it and that he appreciated believing in it. So you have to leave your little brother or sister in your imagination a little longer. Each person at his own pace.
Where does the story of Santa Claus come from?
Everyone knows what he looks like: a pot-bellied, jovial old man with a thick white beard, dressed in red. But do you know the real origins of Santa Claus? No ? So make yourself comfortable, we'll tell you everything.
Where was Santa Claus born?
There is no official version, but we agree that Father Christmas has his origins in Northern Europe, more precisely on the side of Nicolas de Myre.
Better known under the name of Saint-Nicolas, this famous character in Christendom was born in AD 270 in the city of Patara, in Asia Minor, a region corresponding to present-day Turkey.
Converted to Christianity and died as a martyr around 345, the bishop was canonized by the Church and celebrated on December 6 in several countries of Northern and Eastern Europe. He is represented distributing gifts to good children and we already find some of his attributes including the white beard and the red lining of the coat.
How did he get to US?
During the 12th century, a Lorraine knight returning from a crusade passed through the Italian city of Bari, where the relics of Saint Nicholas were stored. It was he who exported the cult of Santa Claus.
The inhabitants of the North as well as of Belgium and the Netherlands, celebrated it on the night of December 5 to 6: the children awaited the arrival of Saint Nicholas on his mule by placing their shoes in front of the fireplace or in front of the door, as well as sugar, milk and a carrot for his mount. The wisest were rewarded with gifts, while the others received blows from Father Fouettard, all in black.
Despite the Protestant reform which suppressed the feast of Saint Nicholas in the 16th century, the Dutch kept their Sinter Klaas and its distribution of toys.
When they settled in the United States, Sinter Klass transformed into Santa Claus.
In a few decades, this custom spread among the homes of English settlers. Christian families preferred that this children's festival be associated with the birth of the baby Jesus. This is how Santa Claus began his tour on the night of December 24.
Why a sleigh?
If Saint Nicholas traveled on the back of a donkey, it was the writer Clément Clarke Moore who provided him with a more opulent team: in 1821 he invented a Christmas tale for his children, entitled "The night before Christmas. »In which the reindeer-drawn sleigh appears.
This author subsequently wrote the text "The Visit of Saint Nicholas" published in the Sentinel newspaper in New York in 1823, in which the distribution of gifts was carried out from a cart pulled by eight reindeer. The ninth reindeer was added a century later: Rudolf then lit the path with his luminous red nose. This story went around the world and influenced representations of Santa Claus.
Why does he live in Lapland? /or North Pole?/ Thomas Nast, illustrator of the New York newspaper "Harper's Illustrated Weekly", sketched his route in 1885, going from the North Pole to the United States. But the Americans had not finished putting their two cents in this story ...
And Coca Cola in all of this?
The old man becoming, in fact, more and more popular in the United States, the American firm had the brilliant idea of drawing him drinking Coca-Cola to regain his strength during his distribution of toys. He was thus dressed in the colors of the famous bottle: red and white. It is therefore not the company that invented from scratch this character loved by young and old, as many think, but it who gave him a makeover. Coca-Cola has done a hell of a lot of advertising for Santa Claus around the world!