If not the most famous senior, certainly Santa Claus is the best loved senior for many in York Region- and around the world- but he is also recognized by different names. In France, he’s Pere Noel; in Germany and Switzerland, he’s Kris Kringle; in England, he’s Father Christmas. In Russia, he goes by Babouschka and, in Italy, as La Befana, to name a few. By 1881, in North America, he had donned the red and white suit, wore a long white beard and travelled by sleigh with his reindeer, mostly as the Santa we know today.
Santa’s ‘career’ started in Turkey around 280 C.E., when he was born to Christian parents who named him Nicholas. He was widely admired for his kindness and strong faith, supposedly giving away all the money he eventually inherited from his family. He then roamed around Turkey, caring for the sick and the poor and donating a dowry for three poor sisters so that their father wouldn’t sell them. He later joined the Church to follow in his Uncle’s, the Bishop of Patara, footsteps. Thereafter, he became the Bishop Nicholas of Patara himself.
After his death, veneration of St. Nicholas spread throughout Europe and even Russia, and, by the Renaissance in the 1500’s, he was the most popular saint in Europe, and in Holland in particular. The Dutch call him Sinter Klaas, a short form of Sint Nikolaas. When the Reformation swept Europe, his popularity declined but he remained strong in Holland. The Dutch brought him to the New World when they settled the City of New Amsterdam, New York today, in the 17th century. They celebrated him on his feast day, December 6th, the date of his death, and it was only in the early 1800’s that he emerged with the celebration of Christmas on December 25th.
Today, you may not be aware but Santa, our most famous senior, uses advanced technology to make his important night in East Gwillimbury happen….some examples (1):
⦁ The Naughty and Nice list? Excel spreadsheets and advanced algorithms keep the Naughty and Nice fields updated in real-time.
⦁ How can he possibly fly around the world in one night? The anti-matter engine on the sleigh allows him to travel faster than the speed of light. Christmas Eve can last as long as he needs it to last.
⦁ Flying reindeer? Highly sophisticated robot drones with mag-lev capability
⦁ Why the North Pole? According to Santa, he enjoys winter sports, he prefers to pay no taxes, and he likes his privacy.
- Home Care Blog, Seniors In The News, Everyone’s Favorite Senior Icon: Santa Claus, December 13th, 2018.
Submitted to Health Local by Brian Porter–PICTURE ON FILE–For advice about seniors and care at home, please kindly contact Brian Porter, Director and Owner of Living Assistance Services (LAS), at 416.483.0070 (ofﬁce), 905.758.2486 (cell) or [email protected] and visit:
華語服務客戶經理: Helen Huang 華語：416.880.6889 or