Chapter

The American Santa Claus

Penne L. Restad

in Christmas in America

Published in print November 1997 | ISBN: 9780195109801
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854073 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109801.003.0010
The American Santa Claus

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Indeed Christmas would not be Christmas if the most famous man in the Yuletide Season is not available to deliver gifts to children. This man is of course Santa Claus. This chapter discusses the history behind the existence of Santa Claus. The character of Santa Claus in this text is dissected to its specific symbols and meanings from the way he looks to his charitable acts of gift giving for children. Defined as a successful factory owner, philanthropist, and quasi-religious figure, Santa Claus stood originally as a symbol of a nation that could neither fully embrace its growing wealth nor forsake its search for spiritual meaning in the celebration of Christmas.

Keywords: Santa Claus; Yuletide Season; philanthropist; quasi-religious figure; American culture

Chapter.  4958 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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