"Saint Nicholas, good holy man,
He was Odin.
Put on Your best coat,
Then gallop to Amsterdam..."
was sung by young Dutch children from the earliest time in the new colony of New Amsterdam, or as we know it today New York City. Those children brought with them an Old Country tradition that was soon to become as American as cookies (an old Dutch word) and apple pie. We come from the Hudson Valley a place as well known for its apples as it is for Clement Moore--the author of "The Night Before Christmas"...
Our card on Santa tells a bit of history:
And Good King Wenceslas.
Pere Noel, Father Frost.
Then he was St. Nicholas.
He became Sinterklaas.
Then Santa Claus.
He’s even been called“Sandy Claws.”
But whatever name we have called him,
he has always been the same.
He loves children, is generous,
protects and honors the poor,
brings blessings and gifts, food and clothing.
He comes at the darkest time of year to remind us of the light.
He is the good king, the kind teacher;
he “flies” to those in need,
the creatures all love him,
he comes with good intent.
His bag is really full of love
and hope and caring...
He is humanity at its best.