Thursday, December 23, 2010

Like Satan, he is known by many names—Sinterklaas, Père Noël, Tomte—but we Americans call him Santa Claus. The long white beard, red outfit, reindeer, etc., all seem like givens to us in the U.S., but the concept of the Christmas figure so ubiquitous in Christian countries is anything but uniform in look. The way that we see Santa in our minds took root first in the second half of the nineteenth century in the midst of one of the darkest periods in our national history. It’s hard to believe now, but the image of this peddler of good will and peace got his look during a time of war. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "War and Peace."

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