The history behind "Santa Claus"

The history behind "Santa Claus"

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The reason for the season varies from tradition to tradition, both secular and faith-based. Not all of their origins are as well-documented as the birth of Christ, though.  

Bear Mills, an author and motivational speaker, has made it his mission to share the story of Saint Nicholas. Most recently, through a documentary he hosted.

"Nicholas was born in the late third century along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey," Mills said.

Mills said Nicholas's parents were wealthy Christians who died tragically when he was just a young man. 

"So It left him, I think in a mental state, in an emotional state of great confusion," Mills said.

Instead of keeping the fortune for himself, he decided to share his wealth. But in secret.

"He looked for ways to give in secret." Mills said. "Well, a lot of the houses in that area at that time were built right into the side of the hill, so you could be walking along and find yourself on someones roof."

So Saint Nick would walk up on the roof, drop a bag of gold and silver down the chimney, or he would sneak up to houses and drop it in an open pair of stockings hanging to dry. 

"Nicholas became known as the patron saint of secret giving," Mills said.

His missionary eventually spread.

"The stories reached the dutch, and they referred to him in their language as Sinterklaas," Mills said.

He is celebrated December 6, one of the first days of the Advent season.

"Stories of this Sinterklaas leaving trinkets and toys, and candy and baked goods, for children on December 6th, as those stories spread, the American kids wanted to know, who left these goodies," Mills said.

The dutch explained it was Sinterklauss and through a series of mispronunciations, he became Santa Claus.

"Nicolas was always focused on others." Mills said. "What can I do for others, and if were not careful Christmas becomes gimme gimme gimme and what about me, but Nicolas's message was what about others." 

Mills said it is important to teach children the story behind beloved Saint Nick, as it reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas. If you are interested in purchasing the documentary or Mill's published books, visit his Facebook page

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