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The Real Father Christmas
Christmas celebration is usually a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the focus of much family celebration and togetherness, which is lovely.
But most folks know that Jesus was not actually born on December 25.
If one calculates from the Biblical data of John the Baptist's birth, six months before Jesus (Lk.1:26,36),
and the two-weeks-per-annum priestly service (1 Chron.24:10; Lk.1:5) of which his father was part when the angel spoke,
then the Lord Jesus was most likely born about 24 September, which tallies with shepherds still in the fields at night.
So how did
the story of Father Christmas bringing gifts on the eve of December 25, and even slithering down the chimney, come to be?
Is it all just a made up story?
There is a real person behind the story of Father Christmas or Santa Claus*, and he did not live at the North Pole.
*Saint Nicholas
lived in the town of Smyrna, also called Myra, and today called Izrmir (in modern Turkey).
He was born about 280 AD/CE in the little town of Patara, Lycia (Southwestern Turkey), and orphaned soon after.
His name was Nicholas, and he was raised by his uncle who pastored the local Christian church.
eventually followed in his kind uncle's footsteps and became a church pastor in Myra / Smyrna / Izmir.
This was in the days long before chimneys were ever invented. People then usually cooked over a fire in the centre of their living room and the smoke exited through a smoke-hole in their roof. So, the story about anyone coming down the chimney is not actually true, but it does have an origin.
During mid winter Pastor Nicholas was particularly concerned for the poor who really struggled even more through these difficult cold times.
So, he
would slip out unseen at night to the homes of the poor and drop three gold coins through the smoke-hole in their roof, for them to find in their cooking hearth when they woke up in the morning. He did it this way because the Lord Jesus had said –
"...when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
Matthew 6:3-4.
the Teutonic tribes (known today as German) adopted Christianity the story of Nicholas spread among them (he was a good example) but it became mixed with their ancient god of Spring wearing a green costume. The change to our modern image of Father Christmas was an invention of Coca Cola marketing. Winter being the least thirsty time of the year, it was decided to market an association with Father Christmas/Nicholas, showing him as a friendly portly old man in the red and white colours of Coca Cola, and this has now become his dominant image.
Nicholas died in Myra
December 6, 343AD
As cute as the stories of reindeer and sleigh rides are, behind it all – is the single experience of an orphaned child who grew of to be an example of kindness and who took the words of Jesus seriously in not taking credit to himself for his gifts to the needy of his community.
See also:
The Real 'James Bond'

(In Rome in 525 AD Dionysius Exiguus invented the present day Anno Domini dating system (BC/AD)
and erroneously fixed Christ's birth as 25 December, 1 AD,
but it's use was only popularised two centuries later by Saxon Abbot Bede in Britain).
Today in some countries, pawn shops even use three-gold-coins or three-gold-balls as their symbol of helping, which (although the Italian Medici family tried to get in on the act as their coat of arms) also comes originally from the practical love-example of this same man so many years ago:–
the example of –
...Nicholas, the modest man who cared...

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