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How does Santa come here from the North Pole
How does Santa Claus get Made
When was the first Christmas Day

Well, Christmas has come and gone but we still wanted to get your answers to you. We got some help from the students in room 2 to answer this one.

Santa has eight magic reindeer and a reindeer with a red nose that leads Santa and the other reindeer around the world to give presents to all the good girls and boys.

We also checked in the Compton's Encyclopedia to see what it had about Santa Claus and this is what we found...

SANTA CLAUS. The legend of jolly old Santa Claus, or Saint Nick, began with a real person: Saint Nicholas, who lived many centuries ago. Although he is one of the most popular saints honored by Christians, very little is actually known about him. He lived during the 4th century in Lycia, a province on the southwest coast of Asia Minor. Tradition says he was born in Patara, a seaport, and traveled to Egypt and Palestine as a young man. Eventually he became bishop of the church at Myra.

The transformation of St. Nicholas into Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, began in Germany among Protestant churches. There he was called Kriss Kringle, derived from Christkindle,meaning "Christ child," and he became permanently associated with the Christmas season and gift giving. From there his legend spread to France, where he was called Père Nol. In the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City) he was called Sinter Claes, which easily became Santa Claus.

As Christmas became more widely celebrated, the legend grew. In 1823 Clement C. Moore wrote 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', portraying Santa Claus riding in a sleigh drawn by "eight tiny reindeer," the same mode of travel he uses in Scandinavia. The first drawing of him that resembles today's Santa Claus was a cartoon by Thomas Nast that appeared in Harper's Weeklyin 1866.

As for the question about the first Christmas, we again referred to the encyclopedia, and it stated

CHRISTMAS. The word comes from the Old English term Cristes maesse, meaning "Christ's mass." This was the name for the festival service of worship held on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. While it is accepted that Jesus was born in the small town of Bethlehem a few miles south of Jerusalem, there is no certain information on the date of his birth, not even of the year.

For several centuries the Christian church itself paid little attention to the celebration of Jesus' birth. The major Christian festival was Easter, the day of his resurrection. Only gradually, as the church developed a calendar to commemorate the major events of the life of Christ, did the celebration of his birth become significant.

So Olana, your question was a good one. It's not certain when the first Christmas celebration was. We hope you all had a good holiday.

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