Posted by Clive on October 23, 2003
In Reply to: Santa, the Hearth Spirits & why it's really dumb to dress in hot red outfits with fur in Australia at Xmas time posted by Lotg on October 23, 2003
: : : : I'm a real bearded Santa and I'm trying to find out
: : : : why, and when Santa started saying Ho Ho Ho.
: : : I know this will come as a surprise and a shock but in England Santa never says Ho Ho Ho - it's beneath his dignity, he would sooner have his false beard torn off than utter such a banal and pointless greeting.
: : I say, old chap! They used to call him Father Christmas in England, didn't they? More creeping Americanization (with a zee!). On my first trip to England in November 1983, I was surprised, shocked, and dismayed to see Picadilly Circus decorated with Disney characters for Christmas!
: So what does Santa err Father Christmas if you prefer say in England then?
: And it's all a bit academic anyway isn't it? As I understand it, the name Santa Claus evolved from Saint Nicholas a Roman Catholic bishop in the 4th century. And I believe there are also other variations such as St. Martin, the Weihnachtsmann, Pere Noel, all of whom, as far as I also understand actually stem from earlier similar Pagan figures.
: And the reason Santa (or whatever you want to call him) comes down a chimney, relates to pagan beliefs around Hearth Spirits. I won't go on, cos I'd go on forever.
: Probaby the most amusing aspect of St Nick (or whoever) is that he cuts such a big figure during the time of a supposed Christian festival (the timing of which also coincides with equally prominent pagan dates prior to those that evolved from Christian times). Now this subject can get a bit touchy I know. Having been raised originally a Christian in an intensely Christian household, sent to study the Bible over and above my schooling, that leading to my interest and further studies in other religions, only to end up not being a Christian, has meant many many many colourful conversations among the family.
: So I'll stop here and point out that I still don't know why Santa says Ho Ho Ho, except maybe to make us all feel good at Christmas time. And if that is the reason, it sounds as good as any reason to me.
In England now it's not permitted for Santa to invite little kids to sit on his knee and make their demands for Christmas presents - fear of paedophiles and their tendencies I guess. It's ironic (note to all US citizens this is not a diet supplement) that the original model for this festive fraud should have been a Roman Catholic Priest given the proven predilection to paedophilia of this profession of unmarried clergy.