Christmas isn't Christmas without..... The Big Man





Today is St Nicholas' Day, and over Europe children will have left out their shoes and hoped to find them filled with sweets and goodies. That's what St Nicholas does.


Whether you take exception to the fact that Sinter Klass as we know him has been hijacked by the wheels of commercialism as a toy-pushing, over-eating exploiter of elf-kind, or think he's a jolly old St Nicholas, he is a big part of the season, especially when you're below a certain age. The magic of anticipation is brilliant, putting out a carrot and mince pie for the man, and waiting for the sound of bells and hoof prints because, hey, he really can fly and he really does get into the house and leave the gifts.....

I love The Polar Express for many reasons, but I think I really like how it deals with the whole Big Man problem; for years I could not watch it because I didn't want my children to ask, or to think too deeply. It's back on our watch list now, and we talk more in terms of tropes and caricatures, and of how an ancient folklore figure and a saint can be combined, altered to suit the purpose and need of the status quo and presented as fact. We talk Hogfather as well, since, God bless him (and wouldn't he be offended by that!) Terry Pratchett could use his invented universe to take apart our beliefs and behaviour. 


Would Christmas happen without Santa? I don't know, but I know he is a personification of the best spirit of the season; that giving is a blessing and that we need to care for the young and the old who can't take care of themselves.

Comments

  1. Awww, I love that last photo of Sarah with Santa. I think that photo shows the magic that is Santa Claus.

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    Replies
    1. I still believe, and the magic is still there for me, I think because I live and work with children most of the time. I'm with Year 4 to 6 this year and it's not quite the same!

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  2. I quite agree although he is definitely Father Christmas in this house. I've yet to watch the Polar Express you know x

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  3. I think this might be our last year of carrots, mince pies, sherry and anticipation, which makes me a little sad. Christmas is definitely best seen through the eyes of a child. I will just have to try and keep the spirit of Christmas alive in other ways I suppose. Sarah was such a cute little girl. xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. She's not quite as cute now, but still a lover of Christmas.
      I have enjoyed my child-enhanced Christmases but I'm a great believer in Christmas 365.

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  4. We have Father Christmases all over the place, a big part of the celebrations for us xx

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  5. The first Christmas we were a family of 3 with a 3 year old I was so excited, I needed to get myself off to bed by midnight as I didn't want to bump into FC when he came a visiting. I was right back to believing in all that magic because we had woven it for our son. Makes me so happy to remember.
    Lisa x

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  6. Traditions are important, especially for children who make the holidays extra special with their wide-eyed innocence. Hope you received my Christmas card. Happy holidays!

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