St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle, and Papa Noelsam
By Marlene Buffa
Never officially canonized as a saint, Nicholas of Myra (a Greek speaking province of Rome in what is now Turkey), gained affection by secretly giving gifts to the townspeople. In the 3rd century, his moniker, Nicholas the Wonderworker, reflected his many good deeds and contributions to his community.
Kris Kringle (the reformulated name for Christkindl, or Christ’s Child), curiously arose from the machinations of Martin Luther in opposition to the Catholic’s own Saint Nicholas. Kris’ personification as an angelic, almost Nordic figure with light skin and blonde hair, humanized him, yet he escaped detection and identification much like our modern Santa Claus. Like Nicholas, (a real person), Kris’ reputation for leaving gifts for children and families earned him endearment and respect among religious followers.
Papa Noel’s legacy came along in the 17th century and his legend continues in Latin countries, particularly Spain. Similar to St. Nicholas and Kris Kringle, Papa Noel brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve. His memory lives on in New Orleans, probably due to the Spanish occupation there in the mid to late 18th century.
Today, we look to Santa Claus, as the personification of sharing our love and treasures with our children and family. The mystique of a stranger, albeit a friendly and loving one, entering our homes, and leaving the perfect gifts, carries with it a sense of childhood wonder.
So convinced of the reality of Santa Claus, I remember lying in bed believing I heard reindeer hoofs on the roof, and jingle bells ringing in cadence. I remember thinking if I got out of bed and peeked somehow, that they would disappear, and I’d never get any presents!
We believe so much in our lives that we either made up or others told us, and we accept as truth. Our hesitancy in questioning the validity of ours and others’ stories, comes from our unwillingness to give up our notions of truth, to be confronted with nothing.
This Christmas, base the truth of who you are, in the magic of your power to manifest it into your life. Connect with the source, and know your greatness is no myth. Jingle the bells, stomp your feet, dance across the roofs, but live your life! Draw the Spirit of Christmas into you own heart. When you understand that you are your own Santa Claus, you enjoy the example of St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle and Papa Noel, all year round.
Taking a quiet sideways glance at life, Marlene offers insight through her words from experiences. . A student of new-thought teachings, Marlene finds practical spirituality around every corner and seeks wisdom through observation of life’s inter-relationships. Sometimes playful, sometimes poignant, always thought-provoking, her writing inspires readers in meaningful ways.