Is Santa Claus Real?
Every year, children around the world awake to find gifts and treats from the infamous jolly man known as Santa Claus. He is beloved by many, and his legend only continues to grow. But is Santa Claus real?
Throughout modern history, cultures around the world have tried to identify the true nature of Santa Claus. So, let us take a look at the history, facts and myths associated with Santa Claus to determine his true identity.
A Brief History of Santa Claus
Though Santa Claus’ legend likely dates back to ancient history, the modern Santa Claus is believed to have originated in the United States. The legend of Santa as we know it emerged in 1823 when author Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” better known as “The Night Before Christmas.” This poem quickly spread the legend of Santa, who was an elf-like figure that came down from the North Pole on Christmas Eve and gave presents to all the good children.
The modern image of Santa Claus was popularized by newspaper cartoonist and artist Thomas Nast. Nast helped establish the image of Santa as an old man with a full white beard who wore a red suit with a fur-trimmed hooded coat; this image has remained unchanged since the 1870s.
Is Santa Claus Real? The Evidence
Santa’s legend has been difficult to corral; depending on who you ask, the answer can be either yes or no. To make it easier, let’s break down the evidence both pointing to Santa’s reality, as well as evidence suggesting that Santa is just a legend.
Evidence Santa Is Real
Santa’s continual presence in popular culture: From advertising to film and television, Santa Claus is still an iconic figure in popular culture more than 150 years after his image was established.
Gifts from Santa: Many Christmas-time gifts are often attributed to Santa Claus, a sign that suggests there may be something “real” behind this figure.
The Santa experience: As mall Santas, Santa sightings, and Santa sightings with Santa’s reindeer become a part of the yearly Santa tradition, many are reaffirmed in their belief of Santa’s reality.
Evidence Santa May Not Be Real
Santa’s geographic mobility: Each year, Santa Claus is believed to deliver gifts to millions of children around the world in a single night. This is simply impossible to accomplish without the power of magic.
Santa’s omniscience: Santa Claus knows who’s been naughty or nice; however, it is impossible for him to have this kind of knowledge unless he is an otherworldly being.
Santa’s identity contradiction: According to lore, Santa Claus’ origin story places him at the North Pole. Though popular culture maintains he lives there, the exact location of the North Pole is unknown, making it impossible for Santa to truly exist.
From the evidence above, it seems safe to assume that Santa Claus is more legend than fact. Though children around the world may continue to believe that the jolly gift giver exists, it is likely that Santa is nothing more than a symbol of good will and joviality during the winter holidays. Even so, his legend still continues to bring joy to millions each year.
Whether you believe in Santa or not, one thing is clear: This holiday season, Santa is here to stay.