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Santa's Book of Knowledge

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Have you ever thought what the world would be like if I didn't carry that sack and make that sleigh ride each year? I know one thing; there wouldn't be a need for a Naughty and Nice list anymore. Can you imagine all those children and their sad little faces? I could never give up this cause because the children are so angelic with those bright and cheery smiles when they look at you or the presents you leave on Christmas morning.

-- Santa Claus

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Santa's Book Of Knowledge

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Overview

Have you ever thought what the world would be like if I didn't carry that sack and make that sleigh ride each year? I know one thing; there wouldn't be a need for a Naughty and Nice list anymore. Can you imagine all those children and their sad little faces? I could never give up this cause because the children are so angelic with those bright and cheery smiles when they look at you or the presents you leave on Christmas morning.

-- Santa Claus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781463424060
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 6/30/2011
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 954,894
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Santa's Book Of Knowledge


By Santa Al Horton

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2011 Santa Al Horton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4634-2406-0


Chapter One

The History

The following information is based on documented evidence and some folklore passed down from generation to generation. It is obvious as I researched this subject that the Pagan deities and folklore go back beyond A.D.; and the custom of gift-giving was practiced by the folks of that era for a long time. Thus this list is accurate but I still consider it incomplete. If you are particularly orthodox, you may not want to read this for it goes against many Christian beliefs. If you are curious, than read on and enjoy. Learn the truth as I learned it about how our current traditions began.

After reading this chapter, you may just come to believe like I do that Santa has no religion. It is the holiday and the season that has the religion. Read on my friend and discover how Santa and the season came about.

Like comparable figures of American legend (Daniel Boone, George Washington, Robin Hood) Santa Claus's origins are shrouded in mystery. At the same time, it is clear that he is closely linked to a very good and prominent family. This was such a good family as to be an Olympian in stature. Of course, he has long since dropped all his foreign titles and decorations, his high office in the Church as a bishop, and all foreign associations generally associated with him. He has become a true democrat. Yes, I am talking about Santa Claus. He can be traced back to Odin, Poseidon, Zeus, Saint Nicholas and many more. Read on my friend and enjoy some interesting assumptions on my part. Yes, I did take some literary license in a few places, but that was just to further expound on my beliefs and explain some very important information I have found.

Are you curious about how some traditions began? Here are some interesting thoughts about that subject and more. Most of our current Christmas traditions began in ancient times during the winter holidays and festivals. The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. The winter solstice was celebrated because the worst of the winter was behind them and the folks could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight. Now bear with me on this. It will all come together soon.

In the Scandinavian countries, the Norse celebrated Yule, the winter solstice, from December 21 through January. This was in recognition of the return of the sun. Fathers and sons would search for the largest log they could find and bring it home to light. Then everyone would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year. This is how the tradition of the Yule Log began.

We don't celebrate this tradition in America, but several countries around the world celebrate with a Yule Log. Look at the traditional candies we get at Christmas. Usually cheese and other foods are rolled into a log shape. There are candies made to look like a log. Though most Americans don't have a fireplace to put a Yule Log into, they do celebrate it with the food they eat.

The end of December was a perfect time for celebration throughout most areas of Europe. This was the time of year, when cattle, sheep, goats, and other livestock were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the remainder of winter and the meat could be stored in the cold to help it keep longer. For many, it was the only time of year when they had an ample supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking. I knew there was a reason I loved the winter so much.

In Germany, people honored the Pagan god Odin or Woden during the mid-winter holidays. The German people were terrified of Odin or Woden because they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decided who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside. If you look at the modern interpretations of what Odin or Woden looked like, you can easily see our Santa there. Long hair and beard, brings gifts, flies through the skies, looks for who is naughty and nice, etc.

Who is Santa really? Well, he doesn't like it known, but Santa Claus (Sinterklaas, St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, etc.) actually started out life as sort of a Christian version of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea and of all waters, also known as Neptune by the Romans. I'll bet you thought I was going to say Odin or Woden. Well Odin or Woden came a little later for the Pagans.

Now you ask, what does a god of the sea and all the waters have to do with Christmas and Santa Claus. Read on my friends and find out some interesting theories I and many others have developed. We embrace these theories because they make a lot of sense and have been around for many years. They weren't created to push a religion or to make any one group or person a prominent person in society. They were made to follow along who society was currently acting and reacting to the world around them.

The early Greek Sailors were afraid of Poseidon because he could send them terrible storms at sea. But they also noticed if he was in a good mood, he would grant them calm seas and safe journeys in their little boats. They came to love him not only for his kindness but for the gift of the sea itself, will all its delicious goodies, and for the health-giving properties they found in salt water and air.

Ok, there is the first hint. He was kind and gave them the gifts of the sea and the health from the salt water and air. Keep reading, there is more information that helps with this theory.

Poseidon had charge over fresh water, too, and could strike a rock with his trident and make a spring of sweet water jet forth. He became known as a giver of all good things and of life itself.

So even back in the third century B.C., when people started erecting temples to him, he was already a kind of Santa Claus and his festival was celebrated by the Greeks and Romans on December 6 (which, after the fourth century A.D. became the feast of Saint Nicholas).

Now that is the pre-Christian version. It is well documented that as Christianity began to grow and spread, the priest needed to do lots of things to bring the Druids, old Romans and other Pagans to their cause and ideologies. This is why they started taking the Pagan festivals and feasts and attributing them to Christian ideologies.

There is also a belief that Santa Claus is related to Thor. Mythologist Helene Adeline Guerber presents a very convincing case tracing Santa to the Norse god Thor in Myths of Northern Lands.

Thor was the god of the peasants and the common people. He was represented as an elderly man, jovial and friendly, of heavy build, with a long white beard. His element was the fire, his color red. The rumble and roar of thunder were said to be caused by the rolling of his chariot, for he alone among the gods never rode on horseback but drove in a chariot drawn by two white goats (called Cracker and Gnasher). He was fighting the giants of ice and snow, and thus became the Yule-god. He was said to live in the "Northland" where he had his palace among icebergs. By our pagan forefathers he was considered as the cheerful and friendly god, never harming the humans but rather helping and protecting them. The fireplace in every home was especially sacred to him, and he was said to come down through the chimney into his element, the fire.

The unusual and common characteristics of Santa and Thor are too close to ignore.

• An elderly man, jovial and friendly and of heavy build. • With a long white beard. • His element was the fire and his color red. • Drove a chariot drawn by two white goats, named called Cracker and Gnasher. • He was the Yule-god. (Yule is Christmas time). • He lived in the Northland (North Pole). • He was considered the cheerful and friendly god. • He was benevolent to humans. • The fireplace was especially sacred to him. • He came down through the chimney into his element, the fire.

Even today in Sweden, Thor represents Santa Claus. The book, The Story of the Christmas Symbols, records: Swedish children wait eagerly for Jultomten, a gnome whose sleigh is drawn by the Julbocker, the goats of the thunder god Thor. With his red suit and cap, and a bulging sack on his back, he looks much like the American Santa Claus. Now doesn't that give a good accounting of Santa Claus?

Thor was probably history's most celebrated and worshipped pagan god. His widespread influence is particularly obvious in the fifth day of the week, which is named after him – Thursday (a.k.a. Thor's Day).

It is ironic that Thor's symbol was a hammer. A hammer is also the symbolic tool of the carpenter – Santa Claus. It is also worth mentioning that Thor's helpers were elves and like Santa's elves, Thor's elves were skilled craftsman. It was the elves who created Thor's magic hammer. Now if that doesn't convince you, than nothing else in this book will do so. Have an open mind when reading and see if you can find other similarities.

There is also a popular belief growing that Santa Claus was created by using one of the devil figures associated with Saint Nicholas, Odin or Woden, Thor, Sinterklaas and many others. There are some terrific articles about that theory, but I choose not to listen or accept them. In the meantime, let's move on to how the Christians changed Santa Claus.

The Christian Version

Fundamentally, I find that the Christmas celebration is based on the intertwining of two ethnic patterns, Roman transition rites and Germano-Celtic Yule (jiuleis) rites-feasting practice. First look at what the early Christians and Druids were sharing. The first known use of the word Christes-Maess was in England, 1038. The English titled Feast Days with Mass Days. No Saint's day listed for December 25th. Another interesting fact is that the abbreviation Xmas; X is Greek Chi, the first letters of Christmas—not X blank out, came into use.

Most of our popular festivals and ceremonies are not originally of Christian origin. They may not be definitely part of any of the religion which Christianity replaced but were celebrations practiced by the people of the times. It appears that they are a mixing of existing festivals that everyone celebrated anyway in their own personal style. It could be that the apples and nuts in our Christmas stockings are the descendants of apples and nuts that grew on very old trees, trees older than history, perhaps there was a late harvest festival, or a kind of Pagan Thanksgiving, presided over by a beneficent elf, and accompanied by candling and feasting. We do not know for sure. I would love to have a time machine and go back in time to find out.

But we do know that as Christianity developed, the Church encouraged all the popular Pagan customs, or many of them, and took them over associating them with Christian holidays and events. This may have been a deliberate attempt of the priests to win the favor of the people and make the new religion really popular, or the people may have made the transfer themselves by the vague and untraceable but very real process of folklore and storytelling. Either way, the people kept their customs, traditions and they soon moved from the Pagan to the Christian beliefs.

Though generally assumed to be a date for the solstice, the original significance of the date December 25th (25 Kisleu Jewish calendar) is unknown. We know the day had important ceremonial and social significance, apparently unrelated to solstice activities. In pre-Christian Rome Mithras was seasonally reborn not on the day of the solstice, but on December 25th. The Romans had another deity for the solstice, the goddess Angerona. Her festival day is December 21st. I am sure if we continue to look, we could find dozen more examples.

After his introduction to Rome the composite Mithras, and perhaps his December 25 date of celebration, were again synchronized with Solis indigeni (a Roman sun god derived from the Pelasgean titan of light Helios). This resulted in a composite being Solis invicta, the invincible sun. Mithras was the god of the regenerating sun and was annually reborn on December 25th. Aurelian eventually proclaimed Mithraism the official religion of the Roman Empire in A.D. 274 and Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun) became an official holiday. (This information was found in several locations on the internet. No specific source could be found for this discovery.)

To this day January 6 is the Eastern Church date to celebrate the unified date celebrating both Christ's nativity and baptism. Originally it was a nativity date established by Egyptian Christians in the 1st century and was apparently calculated from the belief Jesus died April 6, A.D. 29 (year inferred from Luke 3.23, date from Passover of that year) and "existed" on earth exactly 30 years from his incarnation. December 25th was later accepted date of Christ's nativity by eastern Christian churches (Orthodox, Ukrainian, etc.). Chrysostom states in AD 387 that the vacated January 6th had become the date of the Epiphany for the western church. This shift in dates was not due to Gregorian calendar correction. It was established by the church. (Again, this information was found in several locations with no specific reference given to one source.)

Representation of Epiphany in Western churches was based on the manifestation of Christ by Magi (whom many believe probably were Parthian astrologers and not kings). In the Eastern churches it was based on (1) Christ's baptism by John, and (2) his first miracle at Cana.

The twelve holy Roman days (actually nights, there are 13 days) established in 47 B.C. between the end of the Saturnalia (December 19th) and the Kalends (January 1st) eventually became the twelve holy days of the Christian Christmas celebration. They were officially adapted to the Christmas-Epiphany interval at the Council of Tours, A.D. 567. The Romans transferred the Saturnalia to the beginning of the year in the 4th century.

If we should wake on the sixth of December and find our stockings full of candy and toys we should think that the elfish old fellow who comes down the chimney has lost his marbles and arrived about three weeks too soon. But his arrival would be exactly on time to children in other parts of the world. For the feast of Saint Nicholas is the sixth of December, and how he became the patron saint of the "Day of the Saints", the Christ – Child, is another story.

Jumping back to earlier times, we should investigate the primary gift givers in our history. Let's begin with the most popular, Saint Nicholas. Others will follow as you learn about the traditions of other countries. I won't go into them as deep since very few folks know about these folks.

The Christian church created a fictional life history for St. Nicholas. He was given the name Hagios Nikolaos (a.k.a. St. Nicholas of Myra). Yes, I stated it was fictional. There are only stories, legends and hearsay information handed down. There are no official records in places where he supposedly went that indicated he was ever there. That is why the Pope removed him from the roles of Sainthood. In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Santa's Book Of Knowledge by Santa Al Horton Copyright © 2011 by Santa Al Horton. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Forward....................xiii
Introduction....................xv
Chapter 1 - The History....................3
Chapter 2 - So You Want To Be Santa....................64
Chapter 3 - Santa's Voice....................108
Chapter 4 - Grooming....................121
Chapter 5 - Fitness....................132
Chapter 6 - The Visit....................153
Chapter 7 - Plan for the Holidays....................177
Chapter 8 - Working with a Mall or Photo Company....................198
Chapter 9 - Entertaining....................203
Chapter 10 - Where Else Can You Perform....................222
Chapter 11 - Build Your Santa Resume....................231
Chapter 12 - Setting Up Your Business....................241
Chapter 13 - Business Development....................255
Chapter 14 - Agents – Good and Bad....................266
Chapter 15 - Stories and Other Goodies....................270
Reference List....................363
About the Author....................367
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