Santa Claus, Criscringle, Belsnickle and Crisdaffle

Today I updated my homepage with the annual wish for a Merry Christmas and a nice photo of Daffne in her “Crisdaffle” outfit.


Crisdaffle, hereby released to Public Domain

As I write usually about every passing holiday in german I thought it would be a good inducement for an article about christmas. I started with Santa Claus somehow, maybe because he is the corresponding figure to “Crisdaffle”.
I was shocked by what I found out. Coca Cola is not responsible for the mutation of Saint Nicholas into a fat, red dressed toy maker coming from the North Pole. They only climbed onto the bandwaggon and gave Santa a bottle of Coke.

Criscringle is the mutated word for Christ Child, aka Jesus Christ, the guy christmas was originally about.

Belsnickle is a Santa out of papier-mâché. He looked like modern chocolate Santas and the word is a mutation of the original word “Pelz Nichol”. “Pelz” means “fur”.

Harpers Weekly vom 3. Januar 1863, gezeichnet von Thomas Nast, Santa gibt Unions Soldaten Geschenke, Public Domain

Harpers Weekly of Januar the 3rd 1863, drawn by Thomas Nast, Santa gives presents to Union's Soldiers, Public Domain

You can find more about Santa and his “life” before Coke in the very interesting article: The Claus That Refreshes.


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