Thirteen CHRISTMAS GIFT-GIVERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
In honor of tomorrow Feast of St. Nicholas, here are 13 Christmas gift-givers from around the world.
1. St. Nicholas, 4th century bishop of Myrna in modern day Turkey. Renown for his generosity and love of children.
2. Santa Claus, his secularized, commercialized version in present-day America.
3. Father Christmas, the British version of our Santa Claus. In Roman Britannia, the pagan god Saturn was said to watch over the festival of the winter solstice. After St. Augustine brought Christianity to England in 597 A.D., the gift-giver changed from Saturn to Father Christmas.
4. Dun Che Lao Ren, "Christmas Old Man" in China
5. Pere Noel, Father Christmas in France.
6. Christkindl, the Christ Child in Germany.
7. Nino Jesus, the Christ Child in Latin American countries.
8. Befana, an old woman said to have gotten lost bringing gifts to Gesu Bambino (Baby Jesus) in Italy.
9. Babushka, an old woman said to have felt guilty about steering the magi in the wrong direction on their trip to Bethlehem, in Russia.
10. Jule-tomar, little elves with long white whiskers, in Sweden.
11. Jule-Nisser, elves in Norway.
12. Tel-apo, "winter grandfather" in Hungary.
13. The Grinch, if you live in Whoville :-)
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