Had to smile at the thought (as I sipped my "Coke Classic") of The Coca-Cola Company inventing "SANTA
Certainly their marketing department would be ecstatic and exchanging "high-fives" all around. Just the thought of being credited with the development of "SANTA
" in concert with their clever ad campaigns and promotions employing the jolly old fellow targeting domestic and international consumers would give reason to engage in libations and celebration even before his departure from the North Pole on his chimney-hopping flight around the world!
The "family tree" of SANTA
and subsequent development into what is displayed as "him" today can be traced a bit farther back than the deployment of any promotional creativity by a modern-day beverage company however.
What would the Druids think of their "Holly King"
with his bright red berries and sprigs of mistletoe who ruled as the "Lord of the Waning Year" until YuleTide being displaced from Santa's lineage by the Coca-Cola bear? - or - the team of reindeer which were sacred to the Celtic gods and numbering "eight" until the advent of "Rudolph" [[eight - mirroring the total number of solar sabbats]] disappearing from in front of modern day Santa's sleigh?
But then again - what would Santa
be without the ancestral relationship to Saturn (Roman agricultural god after whom the "Saturnalia" was named and celebrated at the conclusion of harvest beginning on December 17th and lasting seven days culminating at the Winter Soltice [December 25th in the Julian Calender]?
(Of course - it is reported that the Romans were not so constrained by the formal time for celebrating Saturnalia that they stopped doing so on the eve of the Winter Solstice when the festival was supposed to end).
And surely we cannot overlook Santa
as also the progeny of "Father Ice
" (Russian winter god), "Odin
" (Teutonic god who rides the sky on an eight-legged horse [[instead of eight reindeer of later vintage]]) - or "Tomte
" - the Norse-land "sprit" who sprinkled gifts for the children throughout the land at the close of the year can we?
Of course not!
Finally - we come to "Thor
" - the kindly Norse sky-god to whom fireplaces were sacred and whose color was red, drawn across the heavens by two goats named "Craker & Gnasher"[[remindful of "Donder & Blitzen" in keeping with Thor as the "Thunder god"]].
Regarding one historical perspective that traces the obvious development of SANTA from THOR:"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."
(H.A. Guerber, "Myths of Northern Lands"
, The American Book Company, New York, 1895, p. 61)
Once again - given the reliance upon "pagan" beliefs/imagery/and traditions - the evidence leads to "SANTA
" - as being an anagram
- representing that "dark spirit" Christians focus upon as being the enemy of not only them but of the world. But don't they still spend lavish amounts of money and engage in celebration of "Christmas" in their homes, churches, and with friends??
And all of that, the "holiday spirit", the gift-giving, the lights, the feasts, the exchange of greeting cards and more - continue to be willingly engaged in by "Christians" all over the world - despite the fact that December 25th along with its "Santa", "Christ's Mass" (Christmas), its decorated tree and other "traditions" all come down to them from the early church which adapted "pagan" deities and customs - attired them in their best ecclesiastically-approved sartorial splendor of new "Christian clothing" (or portrayed this or that custom in some "Christian" context as if by that process "pagan" gods/goddesses/beliefs/and customs suddenly became no longer "pagan" but "Christian") - and then presented their work as spiritual shepherds to their flocks as now worthy for use to honor their Messiah and Lord.
One might wonder - if "Christans" hear laughter while celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th - "Christmas Day" - whether or not it's coming from the "one" represented by the anagram of "SANTA
" who put this all this together from "pagan" sources using the conduit of their own "Universal Church" to confound, mock, and mislead them.
Surely there are many more examples demonstrating the "pagan" orgins surrounding the development of Christmas and its central character, the children-delighting "SANTA
". Reviewing the development and progression of various charicatures of the "jolly old elf" in just the US alone since the 1600s might do for another time.
But - so as not to extend an already lengthy post to one of mind-numbing length - a concluding wish that whether you "believe" in any of those entities and/or that which is mentioned above or not - remember it's all just "food for thought".
Enjoy your year-end holiday however you spend it....and Grrr82CU !!