A Gathering of Santas: Seattle Storytellers Guild Seattle Storytellers Guild
Haller Lake Community Club 12/21/2018
"We all know Santa is very busy this year. There is so much to do. Gifts to get ready, elves to supervise, Checking over the Naughty List twice, not to mention Mrs. Claus' Honey-do List. He is extra busy this year. He has been a consultant for the Free Shipping operations of Amazon, Walmart, Target and a bunch of other retailers. So we are not absolutely sure he will be dropping by.
However, Santa has a lot of helpers!! Most of them wear the corporate uniform – you know, the Red Suit, Pointy Hat, Long white Whiskers. You have probably seen a few around.However it is not unusual for Santa to put in a undercover appearance. So you never know if that guy in the Mall or ringing the bell on the corner is the real thing, or just one of his helpers. Its best to assume that its the MAN!! Lest you get on the Naughty List.
Tonight, we hope some of his helpers drop by during our Open Mike – we know they are very busy this close to Christmas Eve. But we have stories to tell too.”
The Seattle Storytellers Guild has regular storytelling evenings on third Fridays at Haller Lake Community Club. Santa was double booked and unable to put in an appearance, but he sent along some of his helpers. An evening of stories told by these various costumed "helpers" would make a good Holidays program. Look them up on Wikipedia and the internet
The Many Faces of Santa and His Helpers
Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz)is the Russian “Santa.” Clad in Blue embroidered robes, with a magical staff, he brings gifts on the Russian New Years (January 7th) along with ice and snow in the Winter. He is accompanied by the beautiful Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden and drives a Sleigh pulled by Three show white horses (Troika)
Frau Hulda (Mother Holle - she goes by a number of names) is a Germanic Goddess of women and their crafts, in particular, spinning. She was a forebearer of The Fairy Godmother, and an early gift giver. They say the snow comes when she shakes out her bedsheets.
La Befana (Italy) is an old woman in a black shawl, trying to catch up with the wise men with a basket for the child king. Riding on her broom, she leaves candy and gifts and a lump of coal for children in their socks on Epiphany (January 5th). And she often often sweeps the floor before she leaves. If seen, she thumps with her broomstick. A glass of wine, and some morsels of food are left out for her. In Russia, she is called Babouscka.
Scandinavia contributed to Christmas: the JuleNisse or Tomte (Farm Gnomes with Red hats) that bring gifts at Christmas, Yule wreaths, Yule Logs, the Yule Straw Goat (Also known to bring gifts) and Yule Boar at feasts, “Yul” is the cognate root of “Jolly”
St. Lucy St. Lucia's Day is celebrated in Scandinavia by a girl dressed in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of Lingonberry and candles on her head on December 13th, who comes bearing buns flavored with saffron and dotted with raisins for breakfast. In the old Julian Calendar it was also the Winter Solstice. "Lucia" means "Light." Saint Lucia was a girl martyred for her faith in Italy in 304 AD.
Father Christmas (British) is a Folklore Personification of Christmas concerned with adult feasting and merry-making . A symbol of the good ole days, of Wassailing, he was crowned with Holly and rides a Goat. Later Victorian Christmases became child centered festivals and Father Christmas became the bringer of gifts to Children under the Christmas Tree.
Pier Noel (French) Similar to Father Christmas, on Christmas children left their shoes by the fireplace filled with carrots and treats for Père Noël's donkey, Gui ("Mistletoe") before they go to bed. Hooded Père Noël takes the offerings and, if the child has been good, leaves presents in their place. Presents were traditionally small enough to fit in the shoes; candy, money or small toys Many carols came from the French.
Kris Kringle (Kristkindl) is a name the Lutherans in Germany for the Christ Child, who would bring gifts on Christmas. Christmas Trees, first popular in German and Baltic Markets arrived in England in 1830's and in America in 1850's.
St. Nicholas – Nicholas of Myra was a Christian Bishop in Lyria (now Turkey) known for his kindness, his care for those in need, his love of children and of giving anonymous gifts. Beloved by all branches of Christianity – he became the model for all of Santa's helpers.
SinterKlaas (Netherlands) Arrives from Spain by Steamboat and delivers gifts in Stockings and shoes on December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day. He Rides a White Horse and is accompanied by Krampas. The New York Dutch Knickerbockers brought this tradition to America, where he was first called first called Santa Claus in 1810.
The modern-day Santa Claus drawn from the above, and was introduced by Clement Clark Moore in his poem “A Visit From St. Nickolas” in 1823. His appearance was enhanced by Thomas Nast's illustrations in Harper's Weekly in the 1860's and Sundblom's Coke ads in the 1930's. His sleigh, reindeer, home at the North Pole, and elves were also introduced in America in the later 1800's. The writings of Washington Irving in the early 1800's and Charles Dickens in 1843 had much to do with the makeover of Christmas and its' modern celebration.
The Many Themes of the Holiday Season
- Religious Celebrations – The Birth of Jesus, Hanukkah, Solstice, etc.
- Entertainments from Mummers and Caroling to musical preformances and media Holiday Specials.
- Feasting, Festivals and Parties
- Decorations, Lights and Nostalgia
- Concern for the Poor and Charitable works
- A time for Families to get together and to give gifts to Children.
- Commercial Sales From Christmas Markets to Malls to Online Shopping
- Love, Joy, Hope!!
See Eldrbarry's Christmas Page for more Stories, Programs, etc.