Santa Claus is one of the many names that often, if not most often, come up when people think or talk about Christmas. Santa Claus as a person or symbol is one of the popular embodiments of Christmas as a holiday and the Christmas spirit. In Nelibeth Plaza’s Is It Santa?, Santa’s unbelievable scene on Nelibeth’s book where the kids of Mother Rebekkah thought that it was Santa Claus who rearranged and took the cookies from where they’re placed and even caused a small disarrayed. Mother Rebekkah explained that it was probably not Santa Claus because Santa would not have caused a mess by knocking down their red poinsettias. And so begins the story’s plot to solve who is behind the missing cookies.
Nelibeth Plaza crafted this wonderfully engaging children’s story that talks about how the family, particularly the children, and even the community worked together to solve the mystery of who took the cookies. The book even touches on Santa Claus, a central figure and symbol during the Christmas holidays, how the mother baked and prepared those cookies, especially for Santa Claus.
Who is Santa Claus?
A lot of people call him Jolly Ol’ Saint Nicholas, or Saint Nick. Others call him Kris Kringle. Some refer to him as Father Christmas. Then there are others who would simply call him the funny man in the red coat. Whatever name he is called by, it all points to the man with a long white beard and a long red coat riding a sleigh pulled by reindeers, climbing down a chimney, bringing with him a bag filled with gifts and goodies to be given to the nice little boys and girls on his list. Regardless of the name, the origin of Santa Claus has several different versions.
One of Santa Claus’ origins was the story of Saint Nicholas, a Greek Christian Bishop of Myra from the 4th century. It is said that Nicholas was known for being a pious Christian and for giving gifts to the poor. He is also known as the bearded bishop in canonical robes during his time as the Bishop of Myra. Hence, the version of the long, white-bearded, gift-giving Santa Claus in long red robes was created.
Another version of Santa Claus is the Father Christmas story. Father Christmas originated from 16th century England during the time of King Henry VIII when the king was shown wearing green or red-lined robes with fur. Another interpretation of Father Christmas stem’s from Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol story, where the Father Christmas is the Ghost of the Christmas Present.
In Dutch folklore, they have the Sinterklaas, an offset of Saint Nicholas. From “Sinterklaas” then comes the name “Santa Claus.”
Santa Claus and the Christmas Spirit
Regardless of the backstory and culture, Santa Claus is always known as this man who is a giver of gifts during Christmas time. Christmas spirit is described as the state of a person who loves Christmas and shares that state of love and happiness with others.
Nelibeth Plaza in her book Is It Santa? effectively shared the message of what the Christmas spirit is all about when she, her kids, and the community come together to search for the missing cookies. For most people, the Christmas spirit is the giving and sharing of gifts, that heartwarming emotion felt by everyone as they go around singing Christmas carols, greeting other people “happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas” to family, friends, and even strangers alike.
Santa Claus is often shown as the big, old jolly man, carrying a big bag filled with gifts, going “ho-ho-ho,” ringing bells, as he goes from house to house bearing gifts, bringing cheer, and joy. No matter how Santa Claus is depicted, this gift-giving kindred is the ultimate symbol of what the Christmas spirit is all about: a time of giving, sharing, joy, and hope.
Find out more about the mystery behind the missing cookies and the Christmas spirit shared by the characters in Nelibeth Plaza’s book. Grab a copy now on Amazon, or visit the author’s website.