In the midst of all the festive cheer, the golden question during Christmas will always remain… Is Santa Claus real?

And no, this will not be the most difficult thing you have to tell your child. Kids are not that naive to think that a fat bearded man wearing a red suit could fly through the sky on a sleigh being pulled by a bunch of reindeers. Moreover, just installing halogen lights on the sleigh would be a much better way to navigate through the cold and dark winter night than relying on Rudolph’s neon red nose. There is a medical explanation as to why a reindeer’s nose is so strikingly red. Apparently, the micro-vessels that transport oxygen and regulate the temperature in the extreme cold contain an extremely high amount of red blood cells. That being said, I still doubt that Rudolph’s nose could outshine a halogen light of a few thousand lumens. After a while, the picture of Santa and his less than aerodynamic transportation setup flying through the winter sky becomes unbelievable to most children. No one had to tell me that Santa Claus is not real. I kind of figured it out on my own. I asked my 6-year old daughter about her belief in Santa. She told me that she knows that there is no such thing as Santa Claus…

However, have we been too quick to dismiss this mythical individual?

Well, it turns out, in the fourth century, there was a Christian saint by the name of Saint Nicholas. That’s short for Saint Nicholas of Myra. He was born on the 15th of March 270 and died on the 6th of December 343. He is one of the patron saints of children and of sailors and in some countries, children receive gifts on the 6th of December to commemorate St. Nicholas Day. He was born to rich parents and he used his fortunate position of wealth to provide for the less fortunate. He had a reputation for generosity and kindness. In one of his many such acts, he was reputed to have given marriage dowries in the form of gold to three girls who were extremely poor. Had he not done that, these girls would have otherwise been forced into prostitution. He snuck into the house while everyone was asleep and left the gold in small sacks. This is perhaps how the tradition of Santa Claus sneaking down the chimney and leaving gifts in stockings came about. Slowly, under various guises, Saint Nicholas was slowly transformed into the mythical benevolent gift-bearing figure that is Santa Claus.

The 25th of December to Christians like myself is significant as it is the birth of our saviour. To non-believers, it is a period to catch up with family and friends and to unwind at the end of a hectic year. Somehow, through western influence, Santa Claus became mainstream and synonymous with this festive period. We just assumed that he was not real. Perhaps this Christmas would be a good time to share with unbelieving children that he is in fact real!

One thing to ponder though… Was Saint Nicholas fat like Santa?

Well based on this picture from Wikipedia, it would seem like mankind got this one pretty inaccurate. However, somehow a thin Santa just doesn’t give the same festive vibe…

(Source: Wikipedia)

Merry Christmas everyone!


Yours sincerely,



p.s. Here’s a real classy version of Saint Nicholas Santa Claus is coming to town!