Santa Claus, commonly associated with Christmas, is a historical, legendary person who is mostly shown as a big and cheerful white-bearded man wearing a red suit with white trim. He resides at the North Pole with his wife Mrs. Claus, elves who build his toys, and reindeer who pull his sleigh through the sky.
Father Christmas, the Nordic version, is said to reside in Lapland, Finland.
Santa is best known for bringing gifts to small, good children (and children-at-heart) worldwide on Christmas (usually) by sliding down fireplace chimneys (or opening doors with a special key) and reindeer pulling his sleigh.
Santa was most likely created from different traditions from European and Christian culture, such as St. Nicholas, the DutchSinterklaas, and others. There are many popular culture items about Santa. He is known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Kristingle, Christingle, Father Christmas, Santy, and many other names.
Santa Claus' home[change | change source]
In the Nordic version, Santa is said to live in a small hill called Korvatunturi in Lapland, Finland. There is a theme park in Rovaniemi, which is near Korvatunturi, called Santa Claus Village.
The saint who inspired the legend of Sinterklaas (and thus, Santa Claus) is Saint Nicholas, who lived in the 4th Century AD and had a reputation for secret gift-giving, especially to the poor and needy, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.
He resides at the top of the world at the North Pole with his wife Mrs. Claus, elves, and reindeer.
Santa tracking, Santa websites, and email to and from Santa[change | change source]
Over the years, there have been a number of websites created by various organizations that have purported to track Santa. Some, such as NORAD Tracks Santa, the Airservices Australia Tracks Santa Project, the Santa Update Project, and the MSNBC and Bing Maps Platform Tracks Santa Project have endured. Others, such as the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Tracks Santa Project, the Santa Retro Radar – Lehigh Valley Project, and the NASA Tracks Santa Project, have fallen by the wayside.
The origins of the NORAD Tracks Santa program began in the United States in 1955, when a Sears Roebuck store in Colorado Springs, Colorado gave children a number to call a "Santa hotline." The number was mistyped, resulting in children calling the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) on Christmas Eve instead. Colonel Harry Shoup, the Director of Operations, received the first call for Santa and responded by telling children there were signs on the radar that Santa was indeed heading south from the North Pole. A tradition began which continued under the name NORAD Tracks Santa when in 1958, the United States and Canada jointly created the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). This tracking can now be done through the Internet and NORAD's website.
In the past, many local television stations in the United States and Canada likewise claimed they tracked Santa in their own metropolitan areas through the stations' meteorologists. In December 2000, the Weather Channel built upon these local efforts to provide a national Christmas Eve Santa tracking effort called SantaWatch in cooperation with NASA, the International Space Station, and Silicon Valley-based new multimedia firm Dreamtime Holdings. In the 21st century, most local television stations in the United States and Canada rely upon outside established "Santa tracking" efforts, such as NORAD Tracks Santa.
Many other websites became available year-round, devoted to Santa and purport to keep tabs on his activities in his workshop. Many of these websites also include email addresses which allow children to send email to Santa. Most of these websites use volunteer living people as "elves" to answer email sent to Santa. However, some websites, such as Santa's page on Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces, have used or still use "bots" to compose and send email replies, with occasional unfortunate results. One particular website called emailSanta.com was created when a 1997 Canada Post strike prevented a man named Alan Kerr (credited as the "Head Elf")'s young niece and nephews from sending their letters to Santa; in a few weeks, over 1,000 emails to Santa were received and had received 1,000 emails a day one year later. Now celebrating close to two decades on-line, emailSanta.com receives roughly 1 million emails a year.
In addition to providing holiday-themed entertainment, "Santa tracking" websites raise interest in space technology and exploration, serve to educate children in geography. and encourage them to take an interest in science.
In popular culture[change | change source]
See also: SantaCon
By the end of the 20th century, the reality of mass mechanized production became more fully accepted by the Western public.[source?] Elves had been portrayed as using assembly lines to produce toys early in the 20th century. That shift was reflected in the modern depiction of Santa's residence—now often humorously portrayed as a fully mechanized production and distribution facility, equipped with the latest manufacturing technology, and overseen by the elves with Santa and Mrs. Claus as executives and / or managers. An excerpt from a 2004 article, from a supply chain managers' trade magazine, aptly illustrates this depiction:
Santa's main distribution center is a sight to behold. At 4,000,000 square feet (370,000 m2), it's one of the world's largest facilities. A real-time warehouse management system (WMS) is, of course, required to run such a complex. The facility makes extensive use of task interleaving, literally combining dozens of DC activities (putaway, replenishing, order picking, sleigh loading, cycle counting) in a dynamic queue... the DC elves have been on engineered standards and incentives for three years, leading to a 12% gain in productivity... the WMS and transportation system are fully integrated, allowing (the elves) to make optimal decisions that balance transportation and order picking and other DC costs. Unbeknownst to many, Santa actually has to use many sleighs and fake Santa drivers to get the job done Christmas Eve and the transportation management system (TMS) optimally builds thousands of consolidated sacks that maximize cube utilization and minimize total air miles.
In the cartoon base, Santa has been voiced by several people, including Ed Asner, Stan Francis, Mickey Rooney, John Goodman, and Keith Wickham.
Santa has been described as a positive male cultural icon:
Santa is really the only cultural icon we have who's male, does not carry a gun, and is all about peace, joy, giving, and caring for other people. That's part of the magic for me, especially in a culture where we've become so commercialized and hooked into manufactured icons. Santa is much more organic, integral, connected to the past, and therefore connected to the future.
—Television producer Jonathan Meath who portrays Santa, 2011
Many television commercials, comic strips and other media depict this as a sort of humorous business, with Santa's elves acting as a sometimes mischievously disgruntled workforce, cracking jokes, making riddles, and pulling pranks on their boss. For instance, a Bloom County story from December 15, 1981 through December 24, 1981 has Santa rejecting the demands of PETCO (Professional Elves Toy-Making and Craft Organization) for higher wages, a hot tub in the locker room, and "short broads," with the elves then going on strike. Ronald Reagan steps in, fires all of Santa's helpers, and replaces them with out-of-work air traffic controllers (an obvious reference to the 1981 air traffic controllers' strike), resulting in a riot before Santa vindictively rehires them in humiliating new positions such as his reindeer. In an episode of The Sopranos titled "...To Save Us All from Satan's Power," Paulie Gualtieri says he "used to think Santa and Mrs. Claus were running a sweatshop over there... The original elves were ugly, traveled with Santa to throw bad kids a beatin', and gave the good ones toys."
In Kyrgyzstan, a mountain peak was named after Santa, after a Swedish company had suggested the location be a more efficient starting place for present-delivering journeys all over the world, than Lapland. In the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, a Santa Claus Festival was held on December 30, 2007, with government officials attending. 2008 was officially declared the Year of Santa Claus in the country. The events are seen as moves to boost tourism in Kyrgyzstan.
The Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of Santa Clauses is held by Thrissur, Kerala, India where on December 27, 2014, 18,112 Santas came overtaking the current record of Derry City, Northern Ireland. On September 9, 2007, where a total of 12,965 people dressed up as Santa or Santa's helpers which previously brought down the record of 3,921, which was set during the Santa Dash event in Liverpool City Center in 2005. A gathering of Santas in 2009 in Bucharest, Romania attempted to top the world record, but failed with only 3,939 Santas.
References[change | change source]
- ↑"My son catching santa putting gifts under the tree".
- ↑"Santa's names".
- ↑"Santa Claus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- ↑"Santa 2010 website by Airservices Australia". Mirror.airservicesaustralia.com. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- ↑"Safe Travels Santa! We will Be Watching, 19 Dec 2005". NASA's Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- ↑"New technology to map Santa's flight, 24 Dec 2009". The Observer. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- ↑"Welcome to The North Pole – A Virtual Earth 3D Experience!". Today.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- ↑"Tracking Santa with Bing Maps, by Chris Pendleton, 24 Dec 2009". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 1 January 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- ↑"DFW airport unveils Santa Tracker website, 18 Dec 2006". PegNews wire. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- ↑"DFW Airport's 'Santa Tracker' Is Operational, by BJ Austin, 24 Dec 2009". PBS KERA. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- ↑"Frank and Debi DeFreitas of Holoworld". Frank and Debi DeFreitas. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- ↑"Here Comes Santa Claus! Watch it on the Web!, 24 Dec 2005". WRAL.com – Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville – North Carolina's TV Station website. Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- ↑Gurnon, Emily (23 December 2014). "How A Sears Typo Led To NORAD's Santa Tracker". Forbes (New York, United States: Forbes, Inc.). https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/12/23/how-a-sears-typo-led-to-norads-santa-tracker/. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- ↑"Norad Santa Tracker: Christmas tradition began with a wrong number". CBC News. CBC. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- ↑"SantaWatch: Hunt for Santa to Include Clues from the International Space Station, by Dreamtime, 18 Dec 2000". Dreamtime. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- ↑"Keep track of Santa thanks to NORAD, by WKTV News, 24 Dec 2009". Dreamtime. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- ↑"Microsoft pulls plug on potty-mouth Santa, by John Fontana, 4 Dec 2007". Network World. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- ↑"For a Jolly Good Time, Chat With Santa on Windows Live Messenger, 13 Dec 2006". Microsoft. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- ↑"NORAD Tracks Santa – Citation – Space Certification Program as a Corporate Patron Level Partner in the Certified Imagination Product Category, December 2007". Space Foundation. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- ↑"Hi-tech helps track Santa Claus, December 24, 2008". BBC News. 24 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- ↑"You'd Better Not Pout! Booz Allen Supports NORAD to Track Santa's Approach This Year, December 1, 2010 by Booz Allen Hamilton". Booz Allen Hamilton. Archived from the original on 10 December 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- ↑"It's Time for e-Sputnik, by Patrick Gorman, December 8, 2010". Government Executive. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- ↑Nissenbaum, chap. 2; Belk, 87–100
- ↑The North Pole's Turbo Supply Chain SupplyChainDigest News, 16 December 2004
- ↑Ian Aldrich (November 2011). "The Big Question: Why Should We Believe in Santa? We ask Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Jonathan Meath: Why Should We Believe in Santa?". Yankee Magazine. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- ↑"High Five! Top Five! – Bizarre Santa Claus Cameos in Comics by Robert Bazz, December 13, 2010". High Five! Comics. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- ↑Kyrgyzstan: Central Asian Country Welcomes Santa Claus To His New Home. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 30 December 2007
- ↑guinness world records http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/amazing_feats/mass_participation/largest_gathering_Santa_Claus.aspx
- ↑"Guiness (sic) World Record Santa Claus Costumes | WebPhotoBlog | imagini, fotografii, pictures, poze, images". Webphoto.ro. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year for student writing. There is a very high level of student motivation! Student interest and motivation stays high when students write about Christmas coming from different angles and with different purposes.
Here is a great list of Christmas essay and story writing ideas! Remember, using “Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay” will ensure your students can start and finish any of these wonderful essay and story ideas in under 30 minutes! Now that’s a gift!
Please Note: Alexander Bain’s widely accepted century-old model holds that there are only four modes of discourse: 1) descriptive 2) narrative 3) expository and 4) argument/persuasive. Many of the headings below are “organizational models or patterns” and can be combined with the four main modes of discourse. Example: The “cause and effect pattern” can be expressed in the descriptive, narrative, expository, or argumentative genre.
Christmas Persuasive Essay
• There definitely is a Santa Claus.
• I definitely have been a very good boy or girl this year.
• Christmas is a time to be thinking of others.
• Presents are very important on Christmas Day.
• Presents should not be important on Christmas Day.
• We should have the Christmas spirit all year round.
• How getting everything on my Christmas wish list would make the world a better place.
• Christmas is a time to be thankful and for reflection.
• We should have Christmas twice a year!
Christmas Process Essay or How-To Essay
• A kid’s perfect minute-by-minute plan for Christmas Day.
• The correct way to open Christmas presents.
• How to buy the perfect Christmas present for someone.
• How to make Christmas a special day for the entire family.
• How to prepare for Christmas Day.
• How to wrap a Christmas present.
• Santa’s complete process from getting started until delivering his very last present.
• How to decorate for Christmas.
Christmas Argumentative Essay
• There should be absolutely no arguing on Christmas Day.
• Christmas is the best holiday of them all.
• The real meaning of Christmas is _______
• The Christmas spirit is alive and well.
Christmas Evaluation Essay
• What is the effect that Christmas has on society?
• Has the meaning of Christmas changed over time?
• What would Jesus think of Christmas today?
• Has Christmas become too commercialized?
Christmas Narrative/ Personal Narrative Essay
• A wonderful Christmas memory.
• My favorite present I ever GAVE.
• Christmas shopping with my family.
• My favorite part of Christmas.
• Family time on Christmas.
• Christmas traditions in my family.
• The best Christmas ever.
• Funny happenings on Christmas day.
• Memorable presents.
Christmas Cause and Effect Essay
• How I feel when I give on Christmas Day.
• How the birth of Jesus affected our world.
• How the Christmas spirit affects people’s behavior and attitude.
• Preparations for Christmas Day and the outcomes of all that hard work.
• What effect does all the Christmas media promotion have?
Christmas Expository/Informational Essay
• The real truth about Santa Claus. The history of Santa Claus.
• The history of Christmas.
• Christmas through the ages.
• Christmas traditions.
• Facts about Christmas.
• The symbols and symbolism of Christmas.
• The first Christmas.
Christmas Descriptive Essay
• Describe opening presents.
• How I felt opening presents, eating delicious food, and spending time with family and friends.
• Describe the Christmas spirit or Christmas energy.
• Describe who you celebrate Christmas with. What makes them unique or special to celebrate with?
• Describe the sights, sounds, and smells of when you first walk out to the tree on Christmas morning.
• Describe how the anticipation and excitement of Christmas makes you feel.
• Describe the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas.
Christmas Five-Paragraph Essay
• Three reasons…
• Three signs…
• Three presents…
• Three traditions…
• Three signs that Christmas is just around the corner.
• Three reasons I love Christmas.
Christmas Compare and Contrast Essay
• Christmas now compared to Christmas when I was “young.”
• What used to be important to me about Christmas compared to what is important about Christmas to me now.
• The day before Christmas, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas.
• Giving vs. receiving.
• Christmas for kids compared to Christmas for adults.
• Christmas traditions in different cultures.
• Christmas without Santa Claus compared to Christmas with Santa Claus.
Christmas Story Ideas
• A Christmas miracle.
• The greatest present ever.
• People in need on Christmas.
• The real story of Christmas.
• The day after Christmas.
• The day I met Santa Claus.
• Wooah…CRASH… Santa?
• Wow… Look at that star!
Be sure to check out the “Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay” writing program at the home page. Also, be sure to download your FREE 59-page “Guide to Writing” once you get to the homepage!