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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Will the Real Kris Kringle Please Stand Up

Kris Kringle is a custom derived from Christian traditions. It is a ritual that may sometimes be referred to as Secret Santa. Kris Kringle is defined by Wipkipedia as:

  • Christkind or Christkindl, the Austrian and German Christmas gift-bringer, the Christ Child
  • Santa Claus, by assimilation in the United States of the separate German tradition Secret Santa, a gift exchange deriving from the Christkindl tradition
  • Kris Kringle, the lead character in Miracle on 34th Street
  • Etymonline mentions Christ-kinkle from Pennsylvania German and Christkindlein from German and doesn't relate to Santa Claus.

As you listen to Christmas songs you most likely hear the message that young children should be careful as to not pout, shout or cry. We are led to believe that Santa will judge who is bad and good as well as naughty or nice. Perhaps you should be aware that those that are good will receive presents but those that are bad will receive something much worst. 

During the 1600s the Dutch arrived in America with a grand story of Sinterklaas, a man with a long white beard and red coat. Sinterklaas was based on a Greek who lived in Turkey during 300. He was a priest by the name of St. Nicholas and was not as many would think of having santa claus characteristics. Rather, he was a bit of a bad boy and would brawl when needed. However, he did have a soft spot for children and would often bring them gifts. 

During the early 1800s American Christian leaders many of which were Protestant Reformation types had banned religious celebrations of Christmas as unscriptural and paganish. People still wanted to celebrate Christmas. Midwinter saw many sitting at home with the crops harvested and sailors at home waiting for better weather. Therefore many looked forward to December 25th for a party that would leave them under the influence drunk and looting began. 

Christmas during the 1800s was very much different than today. It was one of the biggest parties While many had lots of fun there was a group from New York that decided that they wanted to bring Christmas indoors, an and have a focus on children. While many could consider the group grinches for stopping Christmas grand party they were the same group that formed the Saint Nicholas Society of New York. The group would change the world 

Rumors of the past had St. Nick as a hermit of sorts but this was not the case. In fact he kept long detailed list of people, places, churches and Christian groups. The group from New York desired to bring back the sinterklaus of yesteryear and make Christmas more family friendly In addition they wanted to get the drunks off the street and how better to do it than to turn Christmas into a family event

Sinterklaas would be part of the basis of how Christmas would become popular and families would want to celebrate. The American author Washington Irving wrote a series of sketches featuring St. Nicholas soaring high above New York house, smoking a pipe and delivering presents to well behaved children. Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem for his big brood called "A Visit From St. Nicholas" or what many have come to know as "The Night Before Christmas" By the early 1900s Santa was popularized as the white bearded, red suited, twinkle eyed grandfather type. However, this would set up for another dilemma. Merchants would try to prey on those who celebrated Christmas. Santa was used in all types of ads 

I hope this helps you learn a little about Kris Kringle, and maybe even believe in the magic of Christmas
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