How old were you when you realized Santa wasn’t real? Is it something you figured out on your own or was it spoiled for you by a know-it-all in school? My upbringing was a bit different from the American one. My family celebrates Christmas Eve. We start with a traditional dinner (Wigilia) that begins when the first star in the sky appears (about 4pm)(my gut tells me that this “tradition” was truly a way to occupy the kids and get them out of the house so that the adults could finish cooking, drink in peace, and bicker without guilt), then Santa comes and hands out gifts, then it’s off to midnight Mass. Each year one of my uncles would put on the same ratty suit and play the role, so it didn’t exactly take Sherlock-levels of deduction to uncover the truth.
I’m sorry to say that no matter what your tradition is, Santa is dead. Turkish archaeologists have discovered Saint Nicholas’ burial place. Tangent: dinosaurs are cool, no doubt, but if someone had told me that I could uncover Santa’s tomb, or find hobbits, I would have continued beyond the Introduction to Archaeology class and I’m mad at everyone right now. Anyway. The director of the team says:
“We will reach the ground and maybe we will find the untouched body of Saint Nicholas.”
Sweet. Also from the article:
It had been thought that the remains of Saint Nicholas were transferred from Demre by sailors, who smuggled them to the city of Bari in Italy, where the St Nicholas Basilica still stands.
So when can we expect a Hollywood blockbuster about Saint Nick and his band of pirates?
I love Christmas. But you know what else I love? Saint Nicholas Day. Do you celebrate it? It occurs every December 6th. I don’t know how traditional this is either, but every December 5th I was told to clean all my shoes and leave them by the door for Saint Nick. In the morning, if my shoes were cleaned properly, they were filled with candy. Parenting hack level: basic.
But my favorite Saint Nicholas story comes from the Netherlands by way of David Sedaris:
Do you have any weird traditions celebrated by your family? How far have you gone to preserve the magic of Santa for your kiddo(s)?
Ursula lives in Chicago and likes potatoes very much. You can follow her here.