Monday, December 6, 2010

Old St. Nick

I never knew anything about the history of Santa. I mean, he's just the fat man in a red fur suit right?

Until I randomly picked up this book:
The Autobiography of Santa Claus at the library.

It tells the history of Christmas celebrations all around the world and the evolution of the Santa Claus we know now from St. Nicholas, a bishop from Turkey thousands of years ago. I'm not done with the book yet but it's really an interesting read. It's non-fiction but there's a lot of background info on a tradition that goes back a lot farther than I thought. I wonder if I'd prefer a non-fiction version though, some parts of the storyline are a little ridiculous (Like, all the fat jokes apparently hurt his feelings and Attila the Hun is one of his helpers...) but it's an easy read and I like it.

I'm telling you about this weird but good book so you can read it if you want to find out some more about the origins of Christmas celebrations, and also because today is (auto-post failed me!) St. Nicholas Day. I never really knew about this holiday until I read this book and understood why some countries celebrate this day as their date with Santa (or Sinterklass). And THEN I remembered that I already know something about this holiday- I learned about it last year from the great David Sedaris when I came across his monologue about how the Dutch celebrate. Have you ever heard 6 to 8 Black Men? No? Listen... This is my St. Nicholas Day gift to you. LISTEN TO THIS STORY. I put it on at least once a week every December and it makes me laugh so hard I cry every time.

You're welcome.

Oh, and Happy St. Nicholas Day!!

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