Santa drops down Laurier’s chimney

Red suit, white beard, rosy cheeks and nose, jingling bells – yes Santa Claus did make an appearance at Laurier in the Hall of Fame this past Monday.

Well were Laurier students on the naughty or the nice list? Santa Claus acknowledged in an exclusive interview that “everyone’s been really good here, so I wanted to see what people wanted for presents”.

The man in the jolly red suit admits he understands that this time can be difficult because students are handing endless assignments. He feels it was important for him to come here to find what people want for the holiday and to spread holiday cheer.

Yet students are not alone in experiencing stress, for Santa feels the pressure to with keeping the elves in line, and “the eggnog can get to them and make them rowdy”.

Students could get a picture and holiday-themed frame for five dollars, with each additional photo or frame in the case of a group costing one dollar. They also had a donation bake sale and candy canes for sale.

When asked why Santa was coming to Laurier, Kin Games Winter Carnival Captain Lauren Canie explained “it’s for the holiday cheer, to spread the spirit of the holiday season. There’s not much holiday spirit on campus, so this is something new and a great way to have fun.”

The event was also to raise money for the national competition of academics, athletics, and fun called Kin Games, held at Guelph next semester. It also gives students a chance to meet potential employers and discuss what they want to see in the future of kinesiology programs.

Stephen Hong, in charge of promotions for Kin Kouncil, felt it was a great idea because “it hasn’t been done in the four years I’ve been here and it’s a great opportunity for students to get pictures with Santa”. It is also one Canie hopes future Kin games captains will continue.

The Shoe, a trophy for the team who wins Kin Games, is what Hong has admitted he asked Santa for Christmas.

While most of us can relate the memories we experienced of Santa to our youth, Canie can also see the importance of continuing the tradition of Santa for university students, an opportunity to relieve school-related stress and “flashback to our own childhood”.

The History of Santa

The idea of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus as we know it today originated from the Dutch Sint Klaas, who rides a white horse and leaves gifts in wooden shoes.

The legend goes that Nicholas heard of three poor sisters living in a hut in the town of Myra and wanted to help them. He climbed up the roof and dropped three bags of gold down the smoke hole when everyone in the town was asleep, each one falling into one of their stockings that were hanging over the fire to dry.

The sisters spread their story the next day with others, who hoped that they too would find a bag of gold in their stocking the next morning if they hung it up. It was with this legend that the tradition of hanging stocking over the fire on Christmas Eve.

Over the years when Nicholas gained popularity during the Middle Ages with his association with Christian churches. Presents were initially given on December 6th when people celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas, but it has gradually transferred to Saint Nicholas being associated with Christmas.

The holiday fantasy has become a world wide tradition, whether he is called Jultomten in Sweeden, Babbo Natale in Italy, Papa Nole in Spain, Hoteisho in Japan, Rauklas in Germany, or Ganesha in India, Santa Claus does bring out the holiday spirit in adults and children alike.

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