18x18 18" GOLD JOY MERRY HAPPY CHRISTMAS Zippered Throw Pillow Case & Cushion

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Seller: lildragongurl (1,228) 98.9%, Location: Jacksonville, Florida, Ships to: US, Item: 263346066510 18x18 18"x18" 18in x 18in 18 inch GOLD JOY CHRISTMAS BEGINS WITH CHRIST MERRY CHRISTMAS HAPPY CHRISTMAS SANTA CLAUS HO HO HO SAINT NICK SAINT NICHOLAS COLORFUL DECORATIVE ORNAMENTS REINDEER SNOWFLAKES SNOWFLAKE FLURRY WINTER FLURRIES BLIZZARD MOOSE MERRY CHRISTMAS XMAS X-MAS HOLIDAY RED CHRIST SANTA HELPERS HAPPY HOLIDAYS CHRIST VACATION CELEBRATIONS ORNAMENTS DECOR DECORATIONS GIFTS PRESENTS GET TOGETHER Home Garden 18" Pillow Case & 18" Pillow Insert Kids Children Baby Room Fashion Cushions Decorative Home Decor Patio BBQ Living Room Bedroom Throw Pillow 18x18 Square Pillow Case & 18" Pillow Insert BOTH Included Comes with 18"x18" BOTH Pillow Case & Hypo-Allergenic Pillow Cushion (ZIPPERED PILLOW CASE & REMOVABLE PILLOW INSERT) Pillow Insert: •Non-Allergenic•Machine or Dry Clean•Hand Washable•Quick Dry Resilient•Indoor / Outdoor Use•Ultra Strong Fibers•Long Lasting Durability•Wear & Tear Prevention•Water Resistant•Wrinkle Resistant•Shrinkage Resistant•Stretch Resistant•Abrasion Resistant•Made in U.S.A. Check my other listings for different pillow styles, thanks for viewing! Happy Ebaying! USA Seller! Guaranteed Fast Shipping!!!!!! Colors may have slight variations depending on monitor resolution settings, designs on front only. Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an Octave.Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season. In several countries, celebrating Christmas Eve has the main focus rather than Christmas Day. Although the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,[20] a date that was later adopted in the East.[21][22] Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25. Although it is not known why December 25 became a date of celebration, there are several factors that may have influenced the choice. December 25 was the date the Romans marked as the winter solstice,[23] the shortest and darkest day of the year, and the first day in which the days would begin to elongate and the Sun would have a longer presence in the sky. Jesus was identified with the Sun based on an Old Testament verse,[24] and the date is exactly nine months following Annunciation, when the conception of Jesus is celebrated, which is one theory on what may have influenced the timing of the Christmas holiday.[25][26] Also, Ancient Romans had a series of pagan festivals near the end of the year, and Christmas may have been scheduled at this time to appropriate, or compete with, one or more of these festivals.[27][28][29] Some scholars disagree with this latter interpretation and state that the Roman Emperor Aurelian placed a pagan celebration on December 25 in order to compete with the growing rate of the Christian Church, which had already been celebrating Christmas on that date.[30] The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[31] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[32] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. Etymology"Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass". It is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038[8] followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.[33] Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah", meaning "anointed";[34][35] and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist. The form Christenmas was also historically used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal;[36] it derives from Middle English Cristenmasse, literally "Christian mass".[37] Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found particularly in print, based on the initial letter chi (Χ) in Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), "Christ", though numerous style guides discourage its use;[38] it has precedent in Middle English Χρ̄es masse (where "Χρ̄" is an abbreviation for Χριστός).[37] Other namesIn addition to "Christmas", the holiday has been known by various other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as "midwinter",[39][40] or, more rarely, as Nātiuiteð (from Latin nātīvitās below).[39][41] "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās.[42] In Old English, Gēola (Yule) referred to the period corresponding to December and January, which was eventually equated with Christian Christmas.[43] "Noel" (or "Nowel") entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis (diēs) meaning "birth (day)".[44] NativityMain article: Nativity of JesusMENU0:25Gospel according to Saint Luke Chapter 2, v 1–20 Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst depicts the nativity of JesusThe canonical gospels of Luke and Matthew both describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem in Judea, to a virgin mother. In the Gospel of Luke account, Joseph and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, and Jesus is born there and laid in a manger.[45] It says that angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him. In the Matthew account, magi follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews. King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth. Eastern Orthodox icon of the birth of Christ by Saint Andrei Rublev, 15th centuryHistory Nativity of Christ – medieval illustration from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)The Nativity stories of Matthew and Luke are prominent in the gospels and early Christian writers suggested various dates for the anniversary. The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome in 336.[46][47] Christmas played a role in the Arian controversy of the fourth century. In the early Middle Ages, it was overshadowed by Epiphany. The feast regained prominence after 800, when Charlemagne was crowned emperor on Christmas Day. Associating it with drunkenness and other misbehavior, the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century.[48] It was restored as a legal holiday in 1660, but remained disreputable. In the early 19th century, Christmas was revived with the start of the Oxford Movement in the Anglican Church.[49] Charles Dickens and other writers reinvented the holiday by emphasizing Christmas as a time for family, religion, gift-giving, and social reconciliation as opposed to the revelry that had been common historically.[49] Outdoor Christmas decorationChoice of December 25 dateIn the 3rd century, the date of birth of Jesus was the subject of both great interest and great uncertainty. Around AD 200, Clement of Alexandria wrote: “There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20] … Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].[50]”In other writing of this time, May 20, April 18 or 19, March 25, January 2, November 17, and November 20 are all suggested.[8][51] Various factors contributed to the selection of December 25 as a date of celebration: it was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar; it was about nine months after March 25, the date of the vernal equinox and a date linked to the conception of Jesus. Solstice dateDecember 25 was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar.[52][23] Jesus chose to be born on the shortest day of the year for symbolic reasons, according to an early Christmas sermon by Augustine: "Hence it is that He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one whence light begins to increase."[53] Linking Jesus to the Sun was supported by various Biblical passages. Jesus was considered to be the "Sun of righteousness" prophesied by Malachi: "Unto you shall the sun of righteousness arise, and healing is in his wings."[54] John describes Jesus as "the light of the world."[55] Such solar symbolism could support more than one date of birth. An anonymous work known as De Pascha Computus (243) linked the idea that creation began at the spring equinox, on March 25, with the conception or birth (the word nascor can mean either) of Jesus on March 28, the day of the creation of the sun in the Genesis account. One translation reads: "O the splendid and divine providence of the Lord, that on that day, the very day, on which the sun was made, the 28 March, a Wednesday, Christ should be born.[8][56] In the 17th century, Isaac Newton argued that the date of Christmas was selected to correspond with the solstice.[24] According to Steven Hijmans of the University of Alberta, "It is cosmic symbolism ... which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the southern solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ, and the northern solstice as that of John the Baptist, supplemented by the equinoxes as their respective dates of conception."[57] Calculation hypothesisThe Calculation hypothesis suggests that an earlier holiday held on March 25 became associated with the Incarnation.[58] Modern scholars refer to this feast as the Quartodecimal. Christmas was then calculated as nine months later. The Calculation hypothesis was proposed by French writer Louis Duchesne in 1889.[59][25] In modern times, March 25 is celebrated as Annunciation. This holiday was created in the seventh century and was assigned to a date that is nine months before Christmas, in addition to being the traditional date of the equinox. It is unrelated to the Quartodecimal, which had been forgotten by this time.[60] Early Christians celebrated the life of Jesus on a date considered equivalent to 14 Nisan (Passover) on the local calendar. Because Passover was held on the 14th of the month, this feast is referred to as the Quartodecimal. All the major events of Christ's life, especially the passion, were celebrated on this date. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul mentions Passover, presumably celebrated according to the local calendar in Corinth.[61] Tertullian (d. 220), who lived in Latin-speaking North Africa, gives the date of passion celebration as March 25.[62] The date of the passion was moved to Good Friday in 165 when Pope Soter created Easter by reassigning the Resurrection to a Sunday. According to the Calculation hypothesis, celebration of the quartodecimal continued in some areas and the feast became associated with Incarnation. The Calculation hypothesis is considered academically to be "a thoroughly viable hypothesis", though not certain.[63] It was a traditional Jewish belief that great men lived a whole number of years, without fractions, so that Jesus was considered to have been conceived on March 25, as he died on March 25, which was calculated to have coincided with 14 Nisan.[64] A passage in Commentary on the Prophet Daniel (204) by Hippolytus of Rome identifies December 25 as the date of the nativity. This passage is generally considered a late interpellation. The manuscript includes another passage, one that is more likely to be authentic, that gives the passion as March 25.[65] In 221, Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 160 – c. 240) gave March 25 as the day of creation and of the conception of Jesus in his universal history. This conclusion was based on solar symbolism, with March 25 the date of the equinox. As this implies a birth in December, it is sometimes claimed to be the earliest identification of December 25 as the nativity. However, Africanus was not such an influential writer that it is likely he determined the date of Christmas.[66] The tractate De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis Domini nostri Iesu Christi et Iohannis Baptistae, falsely attributed to John Chrysostom, also argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year and calculated this as March 25.[67][68] This anonymous tract also states: "But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December ... the eight before the calends of January [25 December] ..., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord...? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice."[8] History of religions hypothesisThe rival "History of Religions" hypothesis suggests that the Church selected December 25 date to appropriate festivities held by the Romans in honor of the Sun god Sol Invictus.[58] This feast was established by Aurelian in 274. An explicit expression of this theory appears in an annotation of uncertain date added to a manuscript of a work by 12th-century Syrian bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi. The scribe who added it wrote: "It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." [69] In 1743, German Protestant Paul Ernst Jablonski argued Christmas was placed on December 25 to correspond with the Roman solar holiday Dies Natalis Solis Invicti and was therefore a "paganization" that debased the true church.[27] It has been argued that, on the contrary, the Emperor Aurelian, who in 274 instituted the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, did so partly as an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date already important for Christians in Rome.[26] Hermann Usener[70] and others[33] proposed that the Christians chose this day because it was the Roman feast celebrating the birthday of Sol Invictus. Modern scholar S. E. Hijmans, however, states that "While they were aware that pagans called this day the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas."[57] Moreover, Thomas J. Talley holds that the Roman Emperor Aurelian placed a Sol Invictus on December 25 in order to compete with the growing rate of the Christian Church, which had already been celebrating Christmas on that date first.[30] In the judgement of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, the History of Religions hypothesis has been challenged[71] by a view based on an old tradition, according to which the date of Christmas was fixed at nine months after March 25, the date of the vernal equinox, on which the Annunciation was celebrated.[67] With regard to a December religious feast of the sun as a god (Sol), as distinct from a solstice feast of the (re)birth of the astronomical sun, one scholar has commented that, "while the winter solstice on or around December 25 was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas".[72] "Thomas Talley has shown that, although the Emperor Aurelian's dedication of a temple to the sun god in the Campus Martius (C.E. 274) probably took place on the 'Birthday of the Invincible Sun' on December 25, the cult of the sun in pagan Rome ironically did not celebrate the winter solstice nor any of the other quarter-tense days, as one might expect."[73] The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought remarks on the uncertainty about the order of precedence between the religious celebrations of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun and of the birthday of Jesus, stating that the hypothesis that December 25 was chosen for celebrating the birth of Jesus on the basis of the belief that his conception occurred on March 25 "potentially establishes 25 December as a Christian festival before Aurelian's decree, which, when promulgated, might have provided for the Christian feast both opportunity and challenge".[74] Introduction of feastAs Christmas was unknown to the early Christian writers, it must have been introduced sometime after 300. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts, and Origen writes that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday. Arnobius can still ridicule the "birthdays" of the gods.[8] The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome in 336.[46][47] The feast was introduced to the Eastern Roman Empire after the death of Emperor Valens, who favored the Arian heresy, in 378. In 245, Origen of Alexandria, writing about Leviticus 12:1–8, commented that Scripture mentions only sinners as celebrating their birthdays, namely Pharaoh, who then had his chief baker hanged (Genesis 40:20–22), and Herod, who then had John the Baptist beheaded (Mark 6:21–27), and mentions saints as cursing the day of their birth, namely Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14–15) and Job (Job 3:1–16).[75] In 303, Arnobius ridiculed the idea of celebrating the birthdays of gods, a passage cited as evidence that Arnobius was unaware of any nativity celebration.[76] Since Christmas does not celebrate Christ's birth "as God" but "as man", this does not necessarily show that Christmas was not a feast at this time.[8] The fact the Donatists of North Africa celebrated Christmas suggests that the feast was established by the time that church was created in 311.[77][78] The earliest known Christmas celebration is recorded in a fourth-century manuscript compiled in Rome.[46] This manuscript is thought to record a celebration that occurred in 336. It was prepared privately for Filocalus, a Roman aristocrat, in 354. The reference in question states, "VIII kal. ian. natus Christus in Betleem Iudeæ".[47] This reference is in a section of the manuscript that was copied from earlier source material.[79] The document also contains the earliest known reference to the feast of Sol Invictus.[80] In Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6.[81][82] Epiphany emphasized celebration of the baptism of Jesus.[83] December 25 celebration was imported into the East later: in Antioch by John Chrysostom towards the end of the fourth century,[82] probably in 388, and in Alexandria only in the following century.[84] Even in the West, January 6 celebration of the nativity of Jesus seems to have continued until after 380.[85] In the East, early Christians celebrated the birth of Christ as part of Epiphany (January 6), although Christmas was promoted in the Christian East as part of the revival of Nicene Christianity following the death of the pro-Arian Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The feast was introduced at Constantinople in 379, and at Antioch in about 380. The feast disappeared after Gregory of Nazianzus resigned as bishop in 381, although it was reintroduced by John Chrysostom in about 400.[8] Relation to concurrent celebrationsMany popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. These elements, including the Yule log from Yule and gift giving from Saturnalia,[86] became syncretized into Christmas over the centuries. The prevailing atmosphere of Christmas has also continually evolved since the holiday's inception, ranging from a sometimes raucous, drunken, carnival-like state in the Middle Ages,[87] to a tamer family-oriented and children-centered theme introduced in a 19th-century transformation.[88][89] Additionally, the celebration of Christmas was banned on more than one occasion within certain Protestant groups, such as the Puritans, due to concerns that it was too pagan or unbiblical.[48][90] Jehovah's Witnesses also reject the celebration of Christmas. Mosaic of Jesus as Christus Sol (Christ the Sun) in Mausoleum M in the pre-fourth-century necropolis under St Peter's Basilica in Rome.[91]Prior to and through the early Christian centuries, winter festivals—especially those centered on the winter solstice—were the most popular of the year in many European pagan cultures. Reasons included the fact that less agricultural work needed to be done during the winter, as well as an expectation of better weather as spring approached.[92] Many modern Christmas customs have been directly influenced by such festivals, including gift-giving and merrymaking from the Roman Saturnalia, greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year, and Yule logs and various foods from Germanic feasts.[93] The Egyptian deity Horus, son to goddess Isis, was celebrated at the winter solstice. Horus was often depicted being fed by his mother, which also influenced the symbolism of the Virgin Mary with baby Christ. The pre-Christian Germanic peoples—including the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse—celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period, yielding modern English yule, today used as a synonym for Christmas.[94] In Germanic language-speaking areas, numerous elements of modern Christmas folk custom and iconography stem from Yule, including the Yule log, Yule boar, and the Yule goat.[94] Often leading a ghostly procession through the sky (the Wild Hunt), the long-bearded god Odin is referred to as "the Yule one" and "Yule father" in Old Norse texts, while other gods are referred to as "Yule beings".[95] In eastern Europe also, old pagan traditions were incorporated into Christmas celebrations, an example being the Koleda,[96] which was incorporated into the Christmas carol. Middle Ages The Nativity, from a 14th-century Missal; a liturgical book containing texts and music necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the yearIn the Early Middle Ages, Christmas Day was overshadowed by Epiphany, which in western Christianity focused on the visit of the magi. But the medieval calendar was dominated by Christmas-related holidays. The forty days before Christmas became the "forty days of St. Martin" (which began on November 11, the feast of St. Martin of Tours), now known as Advent.[87] In Italy, former Saturnalian traditions were attached to Advent.[87] Around the 12th century, these traditions transferred again to the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25 – January 5); a time that appears in the liturgical calendars as Christmastide or Twelve Holy Days.[87] The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on Christmas Day in 800. King Edmund the Martyr was anointed on Christmas in 855 and King William I of England was crowned on Christmas Day 1066. The coronation of Charlemagne on Christmas of 800 helped promote the popularity of the holidayBy the High Middle Ages, the holiday had become so prominent that chroniclers routinely noted where various magnates celebrated Christmas. King Richard II of England hosted a Christmas feast in 1377 at which twenty-eight oxen and three hundred sheep were eaten.[87] The Yule boar was a common feature of medieval Christmas feasts. Caroling also became popular, and was originally a group of dancers who sang. The group was composed of a lead singer and a ring of dancers that provided the chorus. Various writers of the time condemned caroling as lewd, indicating that the unruly traditions of Saturnalia and Yule may have continued in this form.[87] "Misrule"—drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling—was also an important aspect of the festival. In England, gifts were exchanged on New Year's Day, and there was special Christmas ale.[87] Christmas during the Middle Ages was a public festival that incorporated ivy, holly, and other evergreens.[97] Christmas gift-giving during the Middle Ages was usually between people with legal relationships, such as tenant and landlord.[97] The annual indulgence in eating, dancing, singing, sporting, and card playing escalated in England, and by the 17th century the Christmas season featured lavish dinners, elaborate masques, and pageants. In 1607, King James I insisted that a play be acted on Christmas night and that the court indulge in games.[98] It was during the Reformation in 16th–17th-century Europe that many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.[99] Reformation to the 18th century Public notice in Boston deeming Christmas illegal and sacrilegiousFollowing the Protestant Reformation, many of the new denominations, including the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church, continued to celebrate Christmas.[100] In 1629, the Anglican poet John Milton penned On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, a poem that has since been read by many during Christmastide.[101][102] Donald Heinz, a professor at California State University, states that Martin Luther "inaugurated a period in which Germany would produce a unique culture of Christmas, much copied in North America."[103] Among the congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church, Christmas was celebrated as one of the principal evangelical feasts.[104] However, in 17th century England, some groups such as the Puritans, strongly condemned the celebration of Christmas, considering it a Catholic invention and the "trappings of popery" or the "rags of the Beast".[48] In contrast, the established Anglican Church "pressed for a more elaborate observance of feasts, penitential seasons, and saints' days. The calendar reform became a major point of tension between the Anglican party and the Puritan party."[105] The Catholic Church also responded, promoting the festival in a more religiously oriented form. King Charles I of England directed his noblemen and gentry to return to their landed estates in midwinter to keep up their old-style Christmas generosity.[98] Following the Parliamentarian victory over Charles I during the English Civil War, England's Puritan rulers banned Christmas in 1647.[48][106] Protests followed as pro-Christmas rioting broke out in several cities and for weeks Canterbury was controlled by the rioters, who decorated doorways with holly and shouted royalist slogans.[48] The book, The Vindication of Christmas (London, 1652), argued against the Puritans, and makes note of Old English Christmas traditions, dinner, roast apples on the fire, card playing, dances with "plow-boys" and "maidservants", old Father Christmas and carol singing.[107] The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas, (1686), published after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England.The Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 ended the ban, but many Calvinist clergymen still disapproved of Christmas celebration. As such, in Scotland, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland discouraged the observance of Christmas, and though James VI commanded its celebration in 1618, attendance at church was scant.[108] The Parliament of Scotland officially abolished the observance of Christmas in 1640, claiming that the church had been "purged of all superstitious observation of days".[109] It was not until 1958 that Christmas again became a Scottish public holiday.[110] Following the Restoration of Charles II, Poor Robin's Almanack contained the lines: "Now thanks to God for Charles return, / Whose absence made old Christmas mourn. / For then we scarcely did it know, / Whether it Christmas were or no."[111] The diary of James Woodforde, from the latter half of the 18th century, details the observance of Christmas and celebrations associated with the season over a number of years.[112] In Colonial America, the Pilgrims of New England shared radical Protestant disapproval of Christmas.[90] The Plymouth Pilgrims put their loathing for the day into practice in 1620 when they spent their first Christmas Day in the New World working – thus demonstrating their complete contempt for the day.[90] Non-Puritans in New England deplored the loss of the holidays enjoyed by the laboring classes in England.[113] Christmas observance was outlawed in Boston in 1659.[90] The ban by the Puritans was revoked in 1681 by English governor Edmund Andros, however it was not until the mid-19th century that celebrating Christmas became fashionable in the Boston region.[114] At the same time, Christian residents of Virginia and New York observed the holiday freely. Pennsylvania German Settlers, pre-eminently the Moravian settlers of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Lititz in Pennsylvania and the Wachovia Settlements in North Carolina, were enthusiastic celebrators of Christmas. The Moravians in Bethlehem had the first Christmas trees in America as well as the first Nativity Scenes.[115] Christmas fell out of favor in the United States after the American Revolution, when it was considered an English custom.[116] George Washington attacked Hessian (German) mercenaries on the day after Christmas during the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776, Christmas being much more popular in Germany than in America at this time. With the atheistic Cult of Reason in power during the era of Revolutionary France, Christian Christmas religious services were banned and the three kings cake was renamed the "equality cake" under anticlerical government policies.[117][118] 19th century Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. From Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, 1843.In the UK, Christmas Day became a bank holiday in 1834, Boxing Day was added in 1871.[119] In the early-19th century, writers imagined Tudor Christmas as a time of heartfelt celebration. In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol that helped revive the "spirit" of Christmas and seasonal merriment.[88][89] Its instant popularity played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion.[120] Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, linking "worship and feasting, within a context of social reconciliation."[121] Superimposing his humanitarian vision of the holiday, in what has been termed "Carol Philosophy",[122] Dickens influenced many aspects of Christmas that are celebrated today in Western culture, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and a festive generosity of spirit.[123] A prominent phrase from the tale, "Merry Christmas", was popularized following the appearance of the story.[124] This coincided with the appearance of the Oxford Movement and the growth of Anglo-Catholicism, which led a revival in traditional rituals and religious observances.[125] The Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, published in the Illustrated London News, 1848, and republished in Godey's Lady's Book, Philadelphia, December 1850The term Scrooge became a synonym for miser, with "Bah! Humbug!" dismissive of the festive spirit.[126] In 1843, the first commercial Christmas card was produced by Sir Henry Cole.[127] The revival of the Christmas Carol began with William Sandys's "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern" (1833), with the first appearance in print of "The First Noel", "I Saw Three Ships", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", popularized in Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced in the early 19th century following the personal union with the Kingdom of Hanover by Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III. In 1832, the future Queen Victoria wrote about her delight at having a Christmas tree, hung with lights, ornaments, and presents placed round it.[128] After her marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert, by 1841 the custom became more widespread throughout Britain.[129] An image of the British royal family with their Christmas tree at Windsor Castle created a sensation when it was published in the Illustrated London News in 1848. A modified version of this image was published in the United States in 1850.[130][131] By the 1870s, putting up a Christmas tree had become common in America.[130] In America, interest in Christmas had been revived in the 1820s by several short stories by Washington Irving which appear in his The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. and "Old Christmas". Irving's stories depicted harmonious warm-hearted English Christmas festivities he experienced while staying in Aston Hall, Birmingham, England, that had largely been abandoned,[132] and he used the tract Vindication of Christmas (1652) of Old English Christmas traditions, that he had transcribed into his journal as a format for his stories.[98] A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph Tidemand The Christmas Visit. Postcard, c.1910In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (popularly known by its first line: Twas the Night Before Christmas).[133] The poem helped popularize the tradition of exchanging gifts, and seasonal Christmas shopping began to assume economic importance.[134] This also started the cultural conflict between the holiday's spiritual significance and its associated commercialism that some see as corrupting the holiday. In her 1850 book The First Christmas in New England, Harriet Beecher Stowe includes a character who complains that the true meaning of Christmas was lost in a shopping spree.[135] While the celebration of Christmas was not yet customary in some regions in the U.S., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow detected "a transition state about Christmas here in New England" in 1856. "The old puritan feeling prevents it from being a cheerful, hearty holiday; though every year makes it more so."[136] In Reading, Pennsylvania, a newspaper remarked in 1861, "Even our presbyterian friends who have hitherto steadfastly ignored Christmas—threw open their church doors and assembled in force to celebrate the anniversary of the Savior's birth."[136] The First Congregational Church of Rockford, Illinois, "although of genuine Puritan stock", was 'preparing for a grand Christmas jubilee', a news correspondent reported in 1864.[136] By 1860, fourteen states including several from New England had adopted Christmas as a legal holiday.[137] In 1875, Louis Prang introduced the Christmas card to Americans. He has been called the "father of the American Christmas card".[138] On June 28, 1870, Christmas was formally declared a United States federal holiday.[139] 20th centuryUp to the 1950s, in the UK, many Christmas customs were restricted to the upper classes and better-off families. The mass of the population had not adopted many of the Christmas rituals that later became general. The Christmas tree was rare. Christmas dinner might be beef—certainly not turkey. In their stockings children might get an apple, orange and sweets. Full celebration of a family Christmas with all the trimmings only became widespread with increased prosperity from the 1950s.[140] National papers were published on Christmas Day until 1912. Post was still delivered on Christmas Day until 1961. League football matches continued in Scotland until the 1970s while in England they ceased at the end of the 1950s.[141][142] Under the state atheism of the Soviet Union, after its foundation in 1917, Christmas celebrations—along with other Christian holidays—were prohibited in public.[143] During the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the League of Militant Atheists encouraged school pupils to campaign against Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, as well as other Christian holidays, including Easter; the League established an antireligious holiday to be the 31st of each month as a replacement.[144] At the height of this persecution, in 1929, on Christmas Day, children in Moscow were encouraged to spit on crucifixes as a protest against the holiday.[145] It was not until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the persecution ended and Orthodox Christmas became a state holiday again for the first time in Russia after seven decades.[146] European History Professor Joseph Perry wrote that likewise, in Nazi Germany, "because Nazi ideologues saw organized religion as an enemy of the totalitarian state, propagandists sought to deemphasize—or eliminate altogether—the Christian aspects of the holiday" and that "Propagandists tirelessly promoted numerous Nazified Christmas songs, which replaced Christian themes with the regime's racial ideologies."[147] As Christmas celebrations began to be held around the world even outside traditional Christian cultures in the 20th century, some Muslim-majority countries have banned the practice of Christmas, claiming it undermines Islam.[148] Customs and traditionsMain article: Christmas traditions Map of countries where Christmas is not a formal public holiday either on December 24/25 or January 6/7.Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian. In some non-Christian areas, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration (e.g. Hong Kong); in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday. Countries such as Japan, where Christmas is popular despite there being only a small number of Christians, have adopted many of the secular aspects of Christmas, such as gift-giving, decorations, and Christmas trees. Countries in which Christmas is not a formal public holiday include Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Cambodia, China (excepting Hong Kong and Macao), the Comoros, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Libya, the Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, the Sahrawi Republic, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen. Christmas celebrations around the world can vary markedly in form, reflecting differing cultural and national traditions. Among countries with a strong Christian tradition, a variety of Christmas celebrations have developed that incorporate regional and local cultures. For Christians, participating in a religious service plays an important part in the recognition of the season. Christmas, along with Easter, is the period of highest annual church attendance. In Catholic countries, people hold religious processions or parades in the days preceding Christmas. In other countries, secular processions or parades featuring Santa Claus and other seasonal figures are often held. Family reunions and the exchange of gifts are a widespread feature of the season. Gift giving takes place on Christmas Day in most countries. Others practice gift giving on December 6, Saint Nicholas Day, and January 6, Epiphany. DecorationsMain article: Christmas decoration A typical Neapolitan presepe/presepio, or Nativity scene. Local crèches are renowned for their ornate decorations and symbolic figurines, often mirroring daily life.The practice of putting up special decorations at Christmas has a long history. In the 15th century, it was recorded that in London it was the custom at Christmas for every house and all the parish churches to be "decked with holm, ivy, bays, and whatsoever the season of the year afforded to be green".[149] The heart-shaped leaves of ivy were said to symbolize the coming to earth of Jesus, while holly was seen as protection against pagans and witches, its thorns and red berries held to represent the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus at the crucifixion and the blood he shed.[150][151] Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of this Christmas display with over 3.5 million lights.Nativity scenes are known from 10th-century Rome. They were popularised by Saint Francis of Asissi from 1223, quickly spreading across Europe.[152] Different types of decorations developed across the Christian world, dependent on local tradition and available resources, and can vary from simple representations of the crib to far more elaborate sets – renowned manger scene traditions include the colourful Kraków szopka in Poland,[153] which imitate Kraków's historical buildings as settings, the elaborate Italian presepi (Neapolitan, Genoese and Bolognese),[154][155][156][157] or the Provençal crèches in southern France, using hand-painted terracotta figurines called santons.[158] In certain parts of the world, notably Sicily, living nativity scenes following the tradition of Saint Francis are a popular alternative to static crèches.[159][160][161] The first commercially produced decorations appeared in Germany in the 1860s, inspired by paper chains made by children.[162] In countries where a representation of the Nativity scene is very popular, people are encouraged to compete and create the most original or realistic ones. Within some families, the pieces used to make the representation are considered a valuable family heirloom. The traditional colors of Christmas decorations are red, green, and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus, which was shed in his crucifixion, while green symbolizes eternal life, and in particular the evergreen tree, which does not lose its leaves in the winter, and gold is the first color associated with Christmas, as one of the three gifts of the Magi, symbolizing royalty.[151] On Christmas Day, the Christ Candle in the center of the Advent wreath is traditionally lit in many church services.The Christmas tree is considered by some as Christianisation of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship;[163] according to eighth-century biographer Æddi Stephanus, Saint Boniface (634–709), who was a missionary in Germany, took an axe to an oak tree dedicated to Thor and pointed out a fir tree, which he stated was a more fitting object of reverence because it pointed to heaven and it had a triangular shape, which he said was symbolic of the Trinity.[164] The English language phrase "Christmas tree" is first recorded in 1835[165] and represents an importation from the German language. The modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century[163] though many argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century.[166][167] The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New YorkFrom Germany the custom was introduced to Britain, first via Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, and then more successfully by Prince Albert during the reign of Queen Victoria. By 1841 the Christmas tree had become even more widespread throughout Britain.[129] By the 1870s, people in the United States had adopted the custom of putting up a Christmas tree.[130] Christmas trees may be decorated with lights and ornaments. Since the 19th century, the poinsettia, a native plant from Mexico, has been associated with Christmas. Other popular holiday plants include holly, mistletoe, red amaryllis, and Christmas cactus. Along with a Christmas tree, the interior of a home may be decorated with these plants, along with garlands and evergreen foliage. The display of Christmas villages has also become a tradition in many homes during this season. The outside of houses may be decorated with lights and sometimes with illuminated sleighs, snowmen, and other Christmas figures. Other traditional decorations include bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, and angels. Both the displaying of wreaths and candles in each window are a more traditional Christmas display. The concentric assortment of leaves, usually from an evergreen, make up Christmas wreaths and are designed to prepare Christians for the Advent season. Candles in each window are meant to demonstrate the fact that Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate light of the world.[168] Christmas lights and banners may be hung along streets, music played from speakers, and Christmas trees placed in prominent places.[169] It is common in many parts of the world for town squares and consumer shopping areas to sponsor and display decorations. Rolls of brightly colored paper with secular or religious Christmas motifs are manufactured for the purpose of wrapping gifts. In some countries, Christmas decorations are traditionally taken down on Twelfth Night, the evening of January 5. Music and carolsMain article: Christmas music Christmas carolers in JerseyThe earliest extant specifically Christmas hymns appear in fourth-century Rome. Latin hymns such as "Veni redemptor gentium", written by Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, were austere statements of the theological doctrine of the Incarnation in opposition to Arianism. "Corde natus ex Parentis" ("Of the Father's love begotten") by the Spanish poet Prudentius (d. 413) is still sung in some churches today.[170] In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Christmas "Sequence" or "Prose" was introduced in North European monasteries, developing under Bernard of Clairvaux into a sequence of rhymed stanzas. In the 12th century the Parisian monk Adam of St. Victor began to derive music from popular songs, introducing something closer to the traditional Christmas carol. By the 13th century, in France, Germany, and particularly, Italy, under the influence of Francis of Asissi, a strong tradition of popular Christmas songs in the native language developed.[171] Christmas carols in English first appear in a 1426 work of John Awdlay, a Shropshire chaplain, who lists twenty-five "caroles of Cristemas", probably sung by groups of wassailers, who went from house to house.[172] Child singers in Bucharest, 1841The songs we know specifically as carols were originally communal folk songs sung during celebrations such as "harvest tide" as well as Christmas. It was only later that carols began to be sung in church. Traditionally, carols have often been based on medieval chord patterns, and it is this that gives them their uniquely characteristic musical sound. Some carols like "Personent hodie", "Good King Wenceslas", and "The Holly and the Ivy" can be traced directly back to the Middle Ages. They are among the oldest musical compositions still regularly sung. "Adeste Fideles" (O Come all ye faithful) appears in its current form in the mid-18th century, although the words may have originated in the 13th century. Singing of carols initially suffered a decline in popularity after the Protestant Reformation in northern Europe, although some Reformers, like Martin Luther, wrote carols and encouraged their use in worship. Carols largely survived in rural communities until the revival of interest in popular songs in the 19th century. The 18th-century English reformer Charles Wesley understood the importance of music to worship. In addition to setting many psalms to melodies, which were influential in the Great Awakening in the United States, he wrote texts for at least three Christmas carols. The best known was originally entitled "Hark! How All the Welkin Rings", later renamed "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing".[173] Hark! The Herald Angels SingMENU0:00Performed by the U.S. Army Band ChorusProblems playing this file? See media help.Felix Mendelssohn wrote a melody adapted to fit Wesley's words. In Austria in 1818 Mohr and Gruber made a major addition to the genre when they composed "Silent Night" for the St. Nicholas Church, Oberndorf. William Sandys' Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833) contained the first appearance in print of many now-classic English carols, and contributed to the mid-Victorian revival of the festival.[174] Completely secular Christmas seasonal songs emerged in the late 18th century. "Deck the Halls" dates from 1784, and the American "Jingle Bells" was copyrighted in 1857. In the 19th and 20th century, African American spirituals and songs about Christmas, based in their tradition of spirituals, became more widely known. An increasing number of seasonal holidays songs were commercially produced in the 20th century, including jazz and blues variations. In addition, there was a revival of interest in early music, from groups singing folk music, such as The Revels, to performers of early medieval and classical music. Traditional cuisine Christmas pudding cooked on Stir-up Sunday, the Sunday before the beginning of the Advent seasonA special Christmas family meal is traditionally an important part of the holiday's celebration, and the food that is served varies greatly from country to country. Some regions, such as Sicily, have special meals for Christmas Eve, when 12 kinds of fish are served. In the United Kingdom and countries influenced by its traditions, a standard Christmas meal includes turkey, goose or other large bird, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, sometimes bread and cider. Special desserts are also prepared, such as Christmas pudding, mince pies, fruit cake and Yule log cake.[175][176] In Poland and other parts of eastern Europe and Scandinavia, fish often is used for the traditional main course, but richer meat such as lamb is increasingly served. In Sweden it is common with a special variety of smörgåsbord, where ham, meatballs and herring play a prominent role. In Germany, France, and Austria, goose and pork are favored. Beef, ham, and chicken in various recipes are popular throughout the world. The Maltese traditionally serve Imbuljuta tal-Qastan,[177] a chocolate and chestnuts beverage, after Midnight Mass and throughout the Christmas season. Slovaks prepare the traditional Christmas bread potica, bûche de Noël in France, panettone in Italy, and elaborate tarts and cakes. The eating of sweets and chocolates has become popular worldwide, and sweeter Christmas delicacies include the German stollen, marzipan cake or candy, and Jamaican rum fruit cake. As one of the few fruits traditionally available to northern countries in winter, oranges have been long associated with special Christmas foods. Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, and whipped eggs (which gives it a frothy texture). Spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon are often added. The finished serving is often garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Cards A 1907 Christmas card with Santa and some of his reindeerMain article: Christmas cardChristmas cards are illustrated messages of greeting exchanged between friends and family members during the weeks preceding Christmas Day. The traditional greeting reads "wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year", much like that of the first commercial Christmas card, produced by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843.[178] The custom of sending them has become popular among a wide cross-section of people with the emergence of the modern trend towards exchanging E-cards. Christmas cards are purchased in considerable quantities, and feature artwork, commercially designed and relevant to the season. The content of the design might relate directly to the Christmas narrative, with depictions of the Nativity of Jesus, or Christian symbols such as the Star of Bethlehem, or a white dove, which can represent both the Holy Spirit and Peace on Earth. Other Christmas cards are more secular and can depict Christmas traditions, mythical figures such as Santa Claus, objects directly associated with Christmas such as candles, holly and baubles, or a variety of images associated with the season, such as Christmastide activities, snow scenes and the wildlife of the northern winter. There are even humorous cards and genres depicting nostalgic scenes of the past such as crinolined shoppers in idealized 19th-century streetscapes. Some prefer cards with a poem, prayer, or Biblical verse; while others distance themselves from religion with an all-inclusive "Season's greetings". Commemorative stampsMain article: Christmas stamp Christmas stamp released in the United States in 1982, featuring a painting by Giovanni Battista TiepoloA number of nations have issued commemorative stamps at Christmastide. Postal customers will often use these stamps to mail Christmas cards, and they are popular with philatelists. These stamps are regular postage stamps, unlike Christmas seals, and are valid for postage year-round. They usually go on sale some time between early October and early December, and are printed in considerable quantities. In 1898 a Canadian stamp was issued to mark the inauguration of the Imperial Penny Postage rate. The stamp features a map of the globe and bears an inscription "XMAS 1898" at the bottom. In 1937, Austria issued two "Christmas greeting stamps" featuring a rose and the signs of the zodiac. In 1939, Brazil issued four semi-postal stamps with designs featuring the three kings and a star of Bethlehem, an angel and child, the Southern Cross and a child, and a mother and child. Both the US Postal Service and the United Kingdom's Royal Mail regularly issue Christmas-themed stamps each year. Gift giving Christmas gifts underneath a Christmas tree.The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making it the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. On Christmas, people exchange gifts based on the Christian tradition associated with Saint Nicholas,[179] and the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which were given to the baby Jesus by the Magi.[180][181] The practice of gift giving in the Roman celebration of Saturnalia may have influenced Christian Christian customs, but on the other hand the Christian "core dogma of the Incarnation, however, solidly established the giving and receiving of gifts as the structural principle of that recurrent yet unique event", because it was the Biblical Magi, "together with all their fellow men, who received the gift of God through man's renewed participation in the divine life."[182] Gift-bearing figuresMain articles: Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and Christkind Christmas gift-bringers in Europe Saint Nicholas, known as Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, is considered by many to be the original Santa Claus[183]A number of figures are associated with Christmas and the seasonal giving of gifts. Among these are Father Christmas, also known as Santa Claus (derived from the Dutch for Saint Nicholas), Père Noël, and the Weihnachtsmann; Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas; the Christkind; Kris Kringle; Joulupukki; tomte/nisse; Babbo Natale; Saint Basil; and Ded Moroz. The Scandinavian tomte (also called nisse) is sometimes depicted as a gnome instead of Santa Claus. The best known of these figures today is red-dressed Santa Claus, of diverse origins. The name Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch Sinterklaas, which means simply Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was a 4th-century Greek bishop of Myra, a city in the Roman province of Lycia, whose ruins are 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from modern Demre in southwest Turkey.[184][185] Among other saintly attributes, he was noted for the care of children, generosity, and the giving of gifts. His feast day, December 6, came to be celebrated in many countries with the giving of gifts.[99] Saint Nicholas traditionally appeared in bishop's attire, accompanied by helpers, inquiring about the behaviour of children during the past year before deciding whether they deserved a gift or not. By the 13th century, Saint Nicholas was well known in the Netherlands, and the practice of gift-giving in his name spread to other parts of central and southern Europe. At the Reformation in 16th–17th-century Europe, many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, corrupted in English to Kris Kringle, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.[99] The modern popular image of Santa Claus, however, was created in the United States, and in particular in New York. The transformation was accomplished with the aid of notable contributors including Washington Irving and the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840–1902). Following the American Revolutionary War, some of the inhabitants of New York City sought out symbols of the city's non-English past. New York had originally been established as the Dutch colonial town of New Amsterdam and the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition was reinvented as Saint Nicholas.[186] In 1809, the New-York Historical Society convened and retroactively named Sancte Claus the patron saint of Nieuw Amsterdam, the Dutch name for New York City.[187] At his first American appearance in 1810, Santa Claus was drawn in bishops' robes. However, as new artists took over, Santa Claus developed more secular attire.[188] Nast drew a new image of "Santa Claus" annually, beginning in 1863. By the 1880s, Nast's Santa had evolved into the modern vision of the figure, perhaps based on the English figure of Father Christmas. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s[189] and continues through the present day.[190][191] Father Christmas, a jolly, stout, bearded man who typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, predates the Santa Claus character. He is first recorded in early 17th century England, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness rather than the bringing of gifts.[165] In Victorian Britain, his image was remade to match that of Santa. The French Père Noël evolved along similar lines, eventually adopting the Santa image. In Italy, Babbo Natale acts as Santa Claus, while La Befana is the bringer of gifts and arrives on the eve of the Epiphany. It is said that La Befana set out to bring the baby Jesus gifts, but got lost along the way. Now, she brings gifts to all children. In some cultures Santa Claus is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, or Black Peter. In other versions, elves make the toys. His wife is referred to as Mrs. Claus. Santa Claus reacts to a toy request (Jonathan Meath as Santa)There has been some opposition to the narrative of the American evolution of Saint Nicholas into the modern Santa. It has been claimed that the Saint Nicholas Society was not founded until 1835, almost half a century after the end of the American War of Independence.[192] Moreover, a study of the "children's books, periodicals and journals" of New Amsterdam by Charles Jones revealed no references to Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas.[193] However, not all scholars agree with Jones's findings, which he reiterated in a book-length study in 1978;[194] Howard G. Hageman, of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, maintains that the tradition of celebrating Sinterklaas in New York was alive and well from the early settlement of the Hudson Valley on.[195] Current tradition in several Latin American countries (such as Venezuela and Colombia) holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children's homes, a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States. In South Tyrol (Italy), Austria, Czech Republic, Southern Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, and Switzerland, the Christkind (Ježíšek in Czech, Jézuska in Hungarian and Ježiško in Slovak) brings the presents. Greek children get their presents from Saint Basil on New Year's Eve, the eve of that saint's liturgical feast.[196] The German St. Nikolaus is not identical with the Weihnachtsmann (who is the German version of Santa Claus / Father Christmas). St. Nikolaus wears a bishop's dress and still brings small gifts (usually candies, nuts, and fruits) on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht. Although many parents around the world routinely teach their children about Santa Claus and other gift bringers, some have come to reject this practice, considering it deceptive.[197] Date according to Julian calendarSome jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including those of Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Jerusalem, mark feasts using the older Julian calendar. As of 2017, there is a difference of 13 days between the Julian calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar, which is used internationally for most secular purposes. As a result, December 25 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 7 on the calendar used by most governments and people in everyday life. Therefore, the aforementioned Orthodox Christians mark December 25 (and thus Christmas) on the day that is internationally considered to be January 7.[4] However, other Orthodox Christians, such as those belonging to the jurisdictions of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Albania, Cyprus, Finland, and the Orthodox Church in America, among others, began using the Revised Julian calendar in the early 20th century, which at present corresponds exactly to the Gregorian calendar.[10] Therefore, these Orthodox Christians mark December 25 (and thus Christmas) on the same day that is internationally considered to be December 25, and which is also the date of Christmas among Western Christians. A further complication is added by the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church continues the original ancient Eastern Christian practice of celebrating the birth of Christ not as a separate holiday, but on the same day as the celebration of his baptism (Theophany), which is on January 6. This is a public holiday in Armenia, and it is held on the same day that is internationally considered to be January 6, because the Armenian Church in Armenia uses the Gregorian calendar. However, there is also a small Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which maintains the traditional Armenian custom of celebrating the birth of Christ on the same day as Theophany (January 6), but uses the Julian calendar for the determination of that date. As a result, this church celebrates "Christmas" (more properly called Theophany) on the day that is considered January 19 on the Gregorian calendar in use by the majority of the world. In summary, there are four different dates used by different Christian groups to mark the birth of Christ, given in the table below. ListingChurch or sectionDateCalendarGregorian dateNoteArmenian Patriarchate of JerusalemJanuary 6Julian calendarJanuary 19Correspondence between Julian January 6 and Gregorian January 19 holds until 2100; in the following century the difference will be one day more.Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Catholic ChurchJanuary 6Gregorian calendarJanuary 6Eastern Orthodox Church jurisdictions, including those of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Albania, Cyprus, and the Orthodox Church in AmericaDecember 25Revised Julian calendarDecember 25Revised Julian calendar usage started in the early 20th centuryOther Eastern Orthodox: Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Belarus, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Jerusalem.Also, some Byzantine Rite Catholics. December 25Julian calendarJanuary 7Correspondence between Julian December 25 and Gregorian January 7 of the following year holds until 2099; from 2100 to 2199 the difference will be one day more.Coptic Orthodox Church of AlexandriaKoiak 29 (corresponding to Julian December 25 or 26)Coptic calendarJanuary 7 or 8Since the Coptic calendar's leap day is inserted in what the Julian calendar considers September, the following Koiak 29 falls one day later than usual in the Julian and Gregorian calendarsEthiopian Orthodox Tewahedo ChurchTahsas 29 or 28 (corresponding to Julian December 25)Ethiopian CalendarJanuary 7After the Ethiopian insertion of a leap day in what for the Julian calendar is September, Christmas is celebrated on Tahsas 28 in order to maintain the exact interval of 9 30-day months and 5 days of the child's gestation.[198] The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church uses the same calendar but, like the Coptic Church, does not make this adjustment.Western Christian churches, Finnish Orthodox Church, secular worldDecember 25Gregorian calendarDecember 25EconomyMain article: Economics of Christmas Christmas market in Jena, Germany Christmas market – Great Market Hall, BudapestChristmas is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the U.S., the "Christmas shopping season" starts as early as October.[199][200] In Canada, merchants begin advertising campaigns just before Halloween (October 31), and step up their marketing following Remembrance Day on November 11. In the UK and Ireland, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid-November, around the time when high street Christmas lights are turned on.[201][202] In the United States, it has been calculated that a quarter of all personal spending takes place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season.[203] Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that expenditure in department stores nationwide rose from $20.8 billion in November 2004 to $31.9 billion in December 2004, an increase of 54 percent. In other sectors, the pre-Christmas increase in spending was even greater, there being a November–December buying surge of 100 percent in bookstores and 170 percent in jewelry stores. In the same year employment in American retail stores rose from 1.6 million to 1.8 million in the two months leading up to Christmas.[204] Industries completely dependent on Christmas include Christmas cards, of which 1.9 billion are sent in the United States each year, and live Christmas Trees, of which 20.8 million were cut in the U.S. in 2002.[205] In the UK in 2010, up to £8 billion was expected to be spent online at Christmas, approximately a quarter of total retail festive sales.[202] Each year (most notably 2000) money supply in US banks is increased for Christmas shopping.In most Western nations, Christmas Day is the least active day of the year for business and commerce; almost all retail, commercial and institutional businesses are closed, and almost all industries cease activity (more than any other day of the year), whether laws require such or not. In England and Wales, the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 prevents all large shops from trading on Christmas Day. Scotland is currently planning similar legislation. Film studios release many high-budget movies during the holiday season, including Christmas films, fantasy movies or high-tone dramas with high production values to hopes of maximizing the chance of nominations for the Academy Awards. One economist's analysis calculates that, despite increased overall spending, Christmas is a deadweight loss under orthodox microeconomic theory, because of the effect of gift-giving. This loss is calculated as the difference between what the gift giver spent on the item and what the gift receiver would have paid for the item. It is estimated that in 2001, Christmas resulted in a $4 billion deadweight loss in the U.S. alone.[206][207] Because of complicating factors, this analysis is sometimes used to discuss possible flaws in current microeconomic theory. Other deadweight losses include the effects of Christmas on the environment and the fact that material gifts are often perceived as white elephants, imposing cost for upkeep and storage and contributing to clutter.[208] ControversiesSee also: Christmas controversy and Christmas in Puritan New EnglandFurther information: Persecution of Christians in the Soviet UnionChristmas has at times been the subject of controversy and attacks from various sources. Historically it was prohibited by Puritans when they briefly held power in England during the English Interregnum (1649–1660), and in Colonial America where the Puritans outlawed the celebration of Christmas in 1659.[209][210] The Parliament of Scotland, which was dominated by Presbyterians, passed a series of acts outlawing the observance of Christmas between 1637 and 1690; Christmas Day did not become a public holiday in Scotland until 1958.[211] Christmas celebrations have also been prohibited by atheist states such as the Soviet Union[212] and more recently majority Muslim states such as Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei.[213] Modern scholars such as E. P. Sanders, Geza Vermes and Marcus Borg consider both Gospel narratives of the birth of Jesus to be non-historical, arguing that there are contradictions between them.[214][215][216] Many biblical scholars view the discussion of historicity as secondary, given that gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than historical accounts.[217][218][219][220] Secularization controversiesSome Christians and organizations such as Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice cite alleged attacks on Christmas (dubbing them a "war on Christmas").[221][222][223] Such groups claim that any specific mention of the term "Christmas" or its religious aspects is being increasingly censored, avoided, or discouraged by a number of advertisers, retailers, government (prominently schools), and other public and private organizations. One controversy is the occurrence of Christmas trees being renamed Holiday trees.[222] In the U.S. there has been a tendency to replace the greeting Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays, which is considered inclusive at the time of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.[224] In the U.S. and Canada, where the use of the term "Holidays" is most prevalent, opponents have denounced its usage and avoidance of using the term "Christmas" as being politically correct.[225][226][227] Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have initiated court cases to bar the display of images and other material referring to Christmas from public property, including schools.[228] Such groups argue that government-funded displays of Christmas imagery and traditions violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the establishment by Congress of a national religion.[229] In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lynch v. Donnelly that a Christmas display (which included a Nativity scene) owned and displayed by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, did not violate the First Amendment.[230] In November 2009, the federal appeals court in Philadelphia upheld a school district's ban on the singing of Christmas carols.[231] The Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear an appeal.[232] American Muslim scholar Abdul Malik Mujahid has said that Muslims must treat Christmas with respect, even if they disagree with it. This article is about the fictional character. For the song, see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (song). For other uses, see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (disambiguation).Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerRudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer Marion Books.jpgCover of one of the books of the Robert L. May story by Maxton Publishers, Inc.First appearance1939Created byRobert L. MayVoiced byBillie Mae Richards (TV series, 1964–2010)Kathleen Barr (movie)InformationNickname(s)Rudolph in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie: Red, Rudy, Rudy the Red nosed Reject, Neon-nose.SpeciesReindeerGenderMaleTitleThe Red Nosed ReindeerFamilyDonner (father in 1964 film)Mrs. Donner (mother in 1964 film)Blitzen (father in 1998 film)Mitzi (mother in 1998 film)Rusty (brother in Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen)Arrow (cousin in 1998 film)Comet, Cupid and Dasher (uncles in 1998 film)Leroy, the Redneck Reindeer (cousin from the Joe Diffie song of the same name, on the album, Mr. Christmas)Spouse(s)Clarice (in 1964 film and 2001 film)/Zoey in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The MovieChildrenRobbie (son in the Robbie the Reindeer films)Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a legendary reindeer, created by Robert Lewis May, usually depicted as a young fawn who barely has antlers, with a glowing red nose, popularly known as "Santa's ninth reindeer." When depicted, he is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through inclement winter weather. Rudolph first appeared in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward, the department store.[1][2][3] The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, LP and has been adapted in numerous forms including a popular song, the iconic 1964 television special and sequels, and a feature film and sequel. Character Arts, LLC manages the licensing for the Rudolph Company, LP. In many countries, Rudolph has become a figure of Christmas folklore. 2014 marked the 75th anniversary of the character[4] and the 50th anniversary of the television special.[5] A series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph was issued by the United States Postal Service on November 6, 2014. Publication history[edit]Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939, as an assignment for Chicago-based Montgomery Ward. The retailer had been buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas every year and it was decided that creating their own book would save money. May considered naming the reindeer "Rollo" or "Reginald" before deciding upon using the name "Rudolph."[8] In its first year of publication, Montgomery Ward had distributed 2.4 million copies of Rudolph's story.[9] The story is written as a poem in anapestic tetrameter, the same meter as "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas").[citation needed] Publication and reprint rights for the book Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are controlled by Pearson PLC.[citation needed] The catchy tune was first played in Chicago's Drake Hotel by well-loved house pianist Joe "Opie" Gunther, a refugee from Nazi Germany. The song's first public broadcast came in 1949, when crooner Harry Brannon performed it on New York City radio in early November.[citation needed] Of note is the change in the cultural significance of a red nose. In popular culture, a bright red nose was then closely associated with chronic alcoholism and drunkards, and so the story idea was initially rejected. May asked his illustrator friend at Montgomery Ward, Denver Gillen, to draw "cute reindeer," using zoo deer as models. The alert, bouncy character Gillen developed convinced management to support the idea.[10] Maxton Books published the first mass-market edition of Rudolph in 1947[citation needed] and a sequel, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Shines Again, in 1954.[citation needed] In 1992, Applewood Books published Rudolph's Second Christmas, an unpublished sequel that Robert May wrote in 1947.[citation needed] In 2003, Penguin Books issued a reprint version of the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with new artwork by Lisa Papp.[citation needed] Penguin also reprinted May's sequels, Rudolph Shines Again and Rudolph's Second Christmas (now retitled Rudolph to the Rescue).[11] The story[edit]The story chronicles the experiences of Rudolph, a youthful reindeer buck (male) who possesses an unusual luminous red nose. Mocked and excluded by his peers because of this trait, Rudolph manages to prove himself one Christmas Eve after Santa Claus catches sight of Rudolph's nose and asks Rudolph to lead his sleigh for the evening. Rudolph agrees, and is finally treated better by his fellow reindeer for his heroism and accomplishment. In media[edit]Theatrical cartoon short (1948)[edit]Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948 film)Rudolph made his first screen appearance in 1948, in a cartoon short produced by Max Fleischer for the Jam Handy Corporation that was more faithful to May's original story than Marks' song, which had not yet been written.[12] It was reissued in 1951 with the song added.[12] Original 1948 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer movie: http://www.icineflix.com/stream.php?ip=178 Song (1949)[edit]Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (song)May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, adapted the story of Rudolph into a song. Gene Autry's recording of the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart the week of Christmas 1949. Autry's recording sold 2.5 million copies the first year, eventually selling a total of 25 million, and it remained the second best-selling record of all time until the 1980s.[13] Comic books (beginning in 1950)[edit]DC Comics, then known as National Periodical Publications, published a series of 13 annuals titled Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from 1950 to 1962.[14][15] Rube Grossman drew most of the 1950s stories.[16] In 1972, DC Comics published a 14th edition in an extra-large format. Subsequently, they published six more in that format: Limited Collectors' Edition C-24, C-33, C-42, C-50[17] and All-New Collectors' Edition C-53, C-60.[18] Additionally, one digest format edition was published as The Best of DC #4 (March–April 1980).[19] The 1970s Rudolph stories were written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer.[20][21] Children's book (1958)[edit]In 1958, Little Golden Books published an illustrated storybook, adapted by Barbara Shook Hazen and illustrated by Richard Scarry. The book, similar in story to the Max Fleischer cartoon short, is no longer in print,[citation needed] but a revised Little Golden Books version of the storybook was reissued in 1972. Stop-motion animation television special (1964) and sequels (1976–79)[edit]Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special) Young Rudolph (right) and Hermey the Elf as seen in the 1964 TV special.Perhaps the most well-known version of all the Rudolph adaptations is the Rankin/Bass Productions version of 1964.[citation needed] Filmed in Japan, with all sound recordings done in Toronto, Canada, the show premièred on NBC. As the producers of the special only had the song as source material and did not have a copy of the original book, they interpolated an original story around the central narrative of the song, one that differed from the book. This re-telling chronicles Rudolph's social rejection among his peers and his decision to run away from home. Rudolph is accompanied by a similarly outcast elf named Hermey, whose dreams of becoming a dentist are shunned by the other elves, along with a loud, boisterous, eager prospector named Yukon Cornelius who was in search of wealth. Additional original characters include Rudolph's love interest, Clarice; the antagonistic "Abominable Snow Monster"; and, as narrator, the living Sam the Snowman, voiced by Burl Ives. In the 1964 stop-motion movie, Rudolph is born to Donner the Reindeer and Donner's wife. He is discovered by Santa to have a shiny, glowing red nose. Donner, regardless of Rudolph's defect, trains him to be a normal reindeer with skills such as gathering food and hiding from the "Abominable Snow Monster", a giant, furry white beast. To hide Rudolph's nose, Donner puts dirt on it to cover it with a black coating. This causes Rudolph to talk in a funny accent, as told by the Rudolph's peers. A short time later, Rudolph joins his peers at the Reindeer Games, where he meets Fireball, who is initially friendly and has a shock of strawberry blond hair on his head, and Clarice, a female spectator who takes a liking to Rudolph. Clarice's flirtation inspires Rudolph to perform better than all of his peers at flying, but in his excitement he knocks the black cover off his nose, revealing a red glow that causes Fireball and the others to turn against him; this distraction, in turn, prompts the coach (Comet) to ban Rudolph from the Reindeer Games. Clarice remains loyal to him, only to be ordered by her father not to shame the family by associating with "a red-nosed reindeer." Rudolph soon runs into Hermey, an elf who was forced out of his job at the North Pole's toy factory; Hermey showed a total lack of interest in the toymaking and singing aspects of being an elf and instead wanted to pursue dentistry. They come to the conclusion that they're both misfits and decide to run away together. On their aimless journey, they run into Yukon Cornelius, the self-described "greatest prospector of the North" who nevertheless seems to never find any silver or gold, and attempt to stay away from the Bumble, a huge abominable snow monster. Their journey leads them to the Island of Misfit Toys, where sentient but unorthodox toys go when they are abandoned by their owners. King Moonracer, the winged lion that lords over the Island, refuses to let them stay there permanently, instead telling the trio to return home and tell Santa Claus of the toys' plight, in exchange for one night's stay on the island. Rudolph refuses the offer and, fearing for his friends' life, runs off alone. A now older Rudolph, still unable to find a place in the world, returns home to the North Pole, only to find that his family and Clarice had left to look for him and are now about to be eaten by the Bumble. With the help of Hermey and Yukon (who arrived separately), they lure the Bumble away and pacify him by knocking him unconscious and allowing Hermey (with dental skills he has acquired by reading books) to remove his sharp teeth. Everyone eventually returns to Santa's workshop, where a dismayed Santa Claus breaks the bad news that the weather is too bad to take the sleigh out and that Christmas would be canceled. Santa changes his mind when he notices Rudolph's red nose and asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh team, which he happily accepts. After the story's initial broadcast, its closing credits were revised. Images of wrapped presents being dropped from Santa's sleigh were replaced by a scene in which Santa stops to pick up the Misfit Toys and delivers them to the homes of children below, where they were found by children who loved them. The changes were prompted by viewer feedback pleading for a happy ending for each toy. The special now airs annually on CBS, rather than NBC, and is hailed as a classic by many. The special's original assortment of characters have acquired iconic status, and an uncertainty surrounding an error in the special's copyright has allowed the special to be widely parodied and imitated in the decades since its original airing. The sequel Rudolph's Shiny New Year (premier air date December 10, 1976) continued the reindeer's journeys, and the series was made into a trilogy with the 1979 feature-length film Christmas in July, which integrated the Rudolph universe into that of Rankin/Bass's adaptation of Frosty the Snowman. Animated feature-length films[edit]Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The MovieRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie (1998) is an animated feature film. It received only a limited theatrical release before debuting on home video. Its inclusion of a villain, a love interest, a sidekick, and a strong protector are more derivative of the Rankin/Bass adaptation of the story than the original tale and song (the characters of Stormella, Zoey, Arrow, Slyly, and Leonard parallel the Rankin/Bass characters of the Bumble, Clarice, Fireball, Hermey, and Yukon, respectively). The movie amplifies the early backstory of Rudolph's harassment by his schoolmates (primarily his cousin Arrow) during his formative years. Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit ToysGoodTimes Entertainment, the producers of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie, brought back most of the same production team for a CGI animated sequel, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys (2001). Unlike the previous film, the sequel featured the original characters from the Rankin/Bass special (as GoodTimes soon learned that Rankin/Bass had made a copyright error that made the characters unique to their special free to use). Other[edit]A live-action version of Rudolph (complete with glowing nose) along with Donner and Blitzen appears in the Doctor Who Christmas special, "Last Christmas" which was broadcast on BBC One on 25 December 2014.[22] In this special, Santa is able to park him like a car and turn off his nose. Nathaniel Dominy, an anthropology professor at Dartmouth College (Robert L. May's alma mater), published a scholarly paper on Rudolph's red nose in the open access online journal Frontiers for Young Minds in 2015. In the paper, Dominy noted that reindeer eyes can perceive shorter wavelengths of light than humans, allowing them to see ultraviolet light; ultraviolet light, however, is much more easily scattered in fog, which would blind reindeer. Thus, Rudolph's red nose, emitting longer-wavelength red light, would penetrate the fog more easily. A summary of Dominy's findings was released in an Associated Press article on December 22.[23] Homages in media[edit] This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances; add references to reliable sources if possible. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2017)Film[edit]In the film remake of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Grinch disguises his dog, Max, as Rudolph for his plan to disguise himself as Santa Claus and steal everything in each house in Whoville, to stop Christmas from coming. He also changes Rudolph's story saying, he hates Christmas and is gonna steal it. He then yells "Action!" through a megaphone. But Max takes off the fake red nose the Grinch had put on him.In the film Fred Claus (2007), Rudolph is mentioned and briefly seen, although his red nose is not glowing. Fred (Vince Vaughn) is filling in for his injured brother Nick (Paul Giamatti) delivering the toys on Christmas Eve. While en route, he crashes the sleigh through a billboard advertisement for Pepsi Cola featuring Santa Claus and tells Rudolph to "shake it off". There are quick edits of Fred flying through the night making his deliveries. Willie the elf says, "Fred, I have a bad feeling about this", followed by a shot of the full moon. The sleigh zips by and turns to go head on into the camera. Here, you can see Rudolph leading the pack. In slow motion, you can clearly count nine reindeer.Games[edit]Rudolph is mentioned in the video game Army of Two (2008) during a tutorial video about the use of the game's Aggro feature.In Guild Wars Nightfall (2006), player characters are accompanied by a reindeer named Rudy whose nose begins to glow red when coming into range of presents that the player is tasked to find in a holiday themed quest.Music[edit]Rudolph is mentioned in the Beach Boys' song "Little Saint Nick" (1963) in the following lyric: "Now haulin' through the snow at a frightening speed with a half a dozen deer with Rudy to lead."[24]"Run Rudolph Run" (1958) is a Christmas song popularized by Chuck Berry and written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie and published by St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP). The song was released as a single on Chess Records (label no. 1714) and has since been covered by numerous other artists, sometimes under the title "Run, Run, Rudolph". The song is a 12-bar blues and has a clear musical parallel to Chuck Berry's popular and recognizable song, "Johnny B. Goode" (1958);[citation needed] it is also melodically identical to Berry's "Little Queenie" (1959).[citation needed]In Ray Stevens' novelty song "Santa Claus Is Watching You" (1962), Rudolph is replaced on Santa's team by "Clyde the Camel", a character from Steven's earlier hit, "Ahab the Arab". In the original version, aimed at children in a similar fashion to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", Rudolph was said to be recuperating from an injury sustained during "a twist contest"; a later version, warning a lover away from infidelity because Santa is watching, has Rudolph on a "stakeout at (the lover's) house".Television and webisodes[edit]In the Doctor Who promotional mini-webisode, "Songtaran Carols" (2012), the Sontaran warrior-nurse-detective, Strax, stated: "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose. It proved to be a tactical disadvantage, because it enabled me to punch him in the dark."Rudolph along with Donner and Blitzen appear in the Doctor Who Christmas special, Last Christmas.The anime and manga series One Piece has a main character called Tony Tony Chopper, a shapeshifter born on Christmas Eve, who was often discriminated against because of his blue nose. However his background and story is otherwise very different.MadTV featured Rudolph in a parody of the 1964 Rankin-Bass special called Raging Rudolph. Rudolph is beaten up for his red nose, and decides to get revenge on Santa Claus with Hermie the Elf by hiring Yukon Cornelius (a hitman in the special) to kill and decapitate Santa. Rudolph then takes over the North Pole. A sequel to the skit, The Reinfather, shows Rudolph exacting revenge for his hitman's death in a nod to The Godfather.Relatives in different adaptations[edit]Main article: Santa Claus's reindeer § Additional reindeerParents[edit]Robert L. May's original book does not name Rudolph's parents.The animated specials produced by both Rankin/Bass and GoodTimes Entertainment have given Rudolph different sets of parents:In Rankin/Bass's holiday special, he is Donner's son, and his mother is a tan doe who is called Mrs. Donner.In GoodTimes' retelling, Rudolph's father is Blitzen, and his mother is named Mitzi.Offspring[edit]Three BBC animations carry on the legend by introducing Rudolph's son, Robbie the Reindeer. However, Rudolph is never directly mentioned by name (references are replaced by the first and second films' villain Blitzen interrupting with the phrase, "Don't say that name!", or something similar, presumably for copyright reasons.) Siblings[edit]Rudolph is also given a younger brother, Rusty Reindeer, in the American special, Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen (2006). Unlike in the "Robbie the Reindeer" cartoons, Rudolph's name is mentioned in the film. Michael Fry and T. Lewis have given Rudolph another brother in a series of Over the Hedge comic strips: an overweight, emotionally damaged reindeer named Ralph, the Infra-Red nosed Reindeer, who is referred to as Rudolph's older brother. Ralph's red nose is good for defrosting Santa's sleigh and warming up toast and waffles; he enviously complains about his brother Rudolph's publicity and his own anonymity. Aunts, uncles, and cousins[edit]Rudolph has a cousin, Leroy, in Joe Diffie's 1995 song, "Leroy the Redneck Reindeer" (1995), which tells the story of Leroy's joining the sleigh team to substitute for Rudolph, who was ill.In GoodTimes' retelling, three of Santa's reindeer (Dasher, Comet, and Cupid) are his uncles, and Cupid's son Arrow is Rudolph's cousin and rival. Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa (Santy in Hiberno-English), is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved ("good" or "nice") children on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the early morning hours of Christmas Day (25 December).[1] The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (himself also based on Saint Nicholas). Some maintain Santa Claus also absorbed elements of the Germanic god Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.[2][3][4] This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children's books, films, and advertising. Santa Claus is said to make lists of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior ("good" and "bad", or "naughty" and "nice") and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and coal to all the misbehaved children, on the single night of Christmas Eve. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of his elves, who make the toys in his workshop at the North Pole, and his flying reindeer, who pull his sleigh.[5][6] He is commonly portrayed as living at the North Pole and saying "ho ho ho" often. Predecessor figuresSaint Nicholas A 13th-century depiction of St. Nicholas from Saint Catherine's Monastery, SinaiMain article: Saint NicholasSaint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Empire, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.[7] He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. In continental Europe (more precisely the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany) he is usually portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes. The remains of Saint Nicholas are in Italy. In 1087, the Italian city of Bari mounted an expedition to locate the tomb of the Saint. The reliquary of St. Nicholas was conquered by Italian sailors and his relics were taken to Bari[8][9] where they are kept to this day. A basilica was constructed the same year to store the loot and the area became a pilgrimage site for the devout. Sailors from Bari collected just half of Nicholas' skeleton, leaving all the minor fragments in the grave. These were collected by Venetian sailors during the First Crusade and taken to Venice, where a church to St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors, was built on the San Nicolò al Lido. This tradition was confirmed in two important scientific investigations of the relics in Bari and Venice, which revealed that the relics in the two Italian cities belong to the same skeleton. Saint Nicholas was later claimed as a patron saint of many diverse groups, from archers, sailors, and children to pawnbrokers.[7][10] He is also the patron saint of both Amsterdam and Moscow.[11] During the Middle Ages, often on the evening before his name day of 6 December, children were bestowed gifts in his honour. This date was earlier than the original day of gifts for the children, which moved in the course of the Reformation and its opposition to the veneration of saints in many countries on the 24 and 25 December. So Saint Nicholas changed to Santa Claus. The custom of gifting to children at Christmas has been propagated by Martin Luther as an alternative to the previous very popular gift custom on St. Nicholas, to focus the interest of the children to Christ instead of the veneration of saints. Martin Luther first suggested the Christkind as the bringer of gifts. But Nicholas remained popular as gifts bearer for the people.[12][13][14] Father Christmas "Ghost of Christmas Present", an illustration by John Leech made for Charles Dickens's festive classic A Christmas Carol (1843).Main article: Father ChristmasFather Christmas dates back as far as 16th century in England during the reign of Henry VIII, when he was pictured as a large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur.[15] He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food and wine and revelry.[15] As England no longer kept the feast day of Saint Nicholas on 6 December, the Father Christmas celebration was moved to 25 December to coincide with Christmas Day.[15] The Victorian revival of Christmas included Father Christmas as the emblem of 'good cheer'.[16] His physical appearance was variable,[17] with one famous image being John Leech's illustration of the "Ghost of Christmas Present" in Charles Dickens's festive classic A Christmas Carol (1843), as a great genial man in a green coat lined with fur who takes Scrooge through the bustling streets of London on the current Christmas morning, sprinkling the essence of Christmas onto the happy populace.[15][16] Dutch and Belgian folkloreSee also: Sinterklaas and Saint Nicholas Sinterklaas, Netherlands (2009) on his horse called Slecht Weer Vandaag or AmerigoIn the Netherlands and Belgium the character of Santa Claus has to compete with that of Sinterklaas, Santa's presumed progenitor. Santa Claus is known as de Kerstman in Dutch ("the Christmas man") and Père Noël ("Father Christmas") in French. But for children in the Netherlands Sinterklaas remains the predominant gift-giver in December; 36% of the Dutch only give presents on Sinterklaas day, whereas Christmas is used by another 21% to give presents. Some 26% of the Dutch population gives presents on both days.[18] In Belgium, Sinterklaas day presents are offered exclusively to children, whereas on Christmas Day, all ages may receive presents. Sinterklaas' assistants are called "Zwarte Pieten" (in Dutch, "Pères Fouettard" in French), so they are not elves.[19] Germanic paganism, Wodan, and Christianization An 1886 depiction of the long-bearded Norse god Odin by Georg von RosenPrior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples (including the English) celebrated a midwinter event called Yule (Old English geola or giuli).[20] With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas.[21] During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were said to increase in frequency, such as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.[citation needed] The leader of the wild hunt is frequently attested as the god Wodan (Norse Odin), bearing (among many names) the names Jólnir, meaning "Yule figure", and Langbarðr, meaning "long-beard", in Old Norse.[22] Wodan's role during the Yuletide period has been theorized as having influenced concepts of St. Nicholas in a variety of facets, including his long white beard and his gray horse for nightly rides (compare Odin's horse Sleipnir) or his reindeer in North American tradition.[23] Folklorist Margaret Baker maintains that "the appearance of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, whose day is 25th of December, owes much to Odin, the old blue-hooded, cloaked, white-bearded Giftbringer of the north, who rode the midwinter sky on his eight-footed steed Sleipnir, visiting his people with gifts. […] Odin, transformed into Father Christmas, then Santa Claus, prospered with St Nicholas and the Christchild, became a leading player on the Christmas stage."[24] In Finland they still use Joulupukki or the Christmas Goat. HistoryOriginsPre-modern representations of the gift-giver from Church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas (known in Dutch as Sinterklaas), merged with the English character Father Christmas to create the character known to Americans and the rest of the English-speaking world as "Santa Claus" (a phonetic derivation of "Sinterklaas"). In the English and later British colonies of North America, and later in the United States, British and Dutch versions of the gift-giver merged further. For example, in Washington Irving's History of New York (1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into "Santa Claus" (a name first used in the American press in 1773)[25] but lost his bishop's apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat. Irving's book was a lampoon of the Dutch culture of New York, and much of this portrait is his joking invention. 19th century Illustration to verse 1 of Old Santeclaus with Much Delight 1850 illustration of Saint Nicolas with his servant Père Fouettard / Zwarte Piet"December 24, 1864. This has usually been a very busy day with me, preparing for Christmas not only for my own tables, but for gifts for my servants. Now how changed! No confectionary, cakes, or pies can I have. We are all sad; no loud, jovial laugh from our boys is heard. Christmas Eve, which has ever been gaily celebrated here, which has witnessed the popping of firecrackers … and the hanging up of stockings, is an occasion now of sadness and gloom. I have nothing even to put in 8-year-old daughter Sadai's stocking, which hangs so invitingly for Santa Claus. How disappointed she will be in the morning, though I have explained to her why he cannot come. Poor children! Why must the innocent suffer with the guilty?"Diary of Dolly Lunt Burge, a Maine native, widow of Thomas Burge, and resident living c. 40 miles southeast of Atlanta near Covington, Georgia. This entry from Mrs. Burge's diary was five weeks after most of General T. Sherman's U.S. Army forces had passed on their blackened-earth "march across Georgia" toward Savanna, after the army's destruction of Atlanta in mid-November 1864. U.S. Army mop-up companies and stragglers during those intervening weeks continued to "forage", loot, burn, and liberate slaves, hence, the concern of Mrs. Burge and her household.[26]In 1821, the book A New-year's present, to the little ones from five to twelve was published in New York. It contained Old Santeclaus with Much Delight, an anonymous poem describing Santeclaus on a reindeer sleigh, bringing presents to children.[27] Some modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the anonymous publication of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (better known today as "The Night Before Christmas") in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on 23 December 1823; Clement Clarke Moore later claimed authorship, though some scholars contest persuasively that Henry Livingston, Jr. (who died nine years before Moore's claim) was the author.[7][28] St. Nick is described as being "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf" with "a little round belly", that "shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly", in spite of which the "miniature sleigh" and "tiny reindeer" still indicate that he is physically diminutive. The reindeer were also named: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem (Dunder and Blixem came from the old Dutch words for thunder and lightning, which were later changed to the more German sounding Donner and Blitzen).[29] By 1845 'Kris Kringle' was a common variant of Santa in parts of the U.S.[30] A magazine article from 1853, describing American Christmas customs to British readers, refers to children hanging up their stockings on Christmas Eve for 'a fabulous personage' whose name varies: in Pennsylvania he is usually called 'Krishkinkle' but in New York he is 'St. Nicholas' or 'Santa Claus'. The author[31] quotes Moore's poem in its entirety, saying that its descriptions apply to Krishkinkle too.[32] As the years passed, Santa Claus evolved in popular culture into a large, heavyset person. One of the first artists to define Santa Claus's modern image was Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century. In 1863, a picture of Santa illustrated by Nast appeared in Harper's Weekly. Thomas Nast immortalized Santa Claus with an illustration for the 3 January 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly. Santa was dressed in an American flag, and had a puppet with the name "Jeff" written on it, reflecting its Civil War context. The story that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole may also have been a Nast creation. His Christmas image in the Harper's issue dated 29 December 1866 was a collage of engravings titled Santa Claus and His Works, which included the caption "Santa Claussville, N.P."[33] A color collection of Nast's pictures, published in 1869, had a poem also titled "Santa Claus and His Works" by George P. Webster, who wrote that Santa Claus's home was "near the North Pole, in the ice and snow".[34] The tale had become well known by the 1870s. A boy from Colorado writing to the children's magazine The Nursery in late 1874 said, "If we did not live so very far from the North Pole, I should ask Santa Claus to bring me a donkey."[35] The idea of a wife for Santa Claus may have been the creation of American authors, beginning in the mid-19th century. In 1889, the poet Katharine Lee Bates popularized Mrs. Claus in the poem "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride". "Is There a Santa Claus?" was the title of an editorial appearing in the 21 September 1897 edition of The New York Sun. The editorial, which included the famous reply "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States and Canada. 20th centuryL. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a 1902 children's book, further popularized Santa Claus. Much of Santa Claus's mythos was not set in stone at the time, leaving Baum to give his "Neclaus" (Necile's Little One) a wide variety of immortal support, a home in the Laughing Valley of Hohaho, and ten reindeer—who could not fly, but leapt in enormous, flight-like bounds. Claus's immortality was earned, much like his title ("Santa"), decided by a vote of those naturally immortal. This work also established Claus's motives: a happy childhood among immortals. When Ak, Master Woodsman of the World, exposes him to the misery and poverty of children in the outside world, Santa strives to find a way to bring joy into the lives of all children, and eventually invents toys as a principal means. Santa later appears in The Road to Oz as a honored guest at Ozma's birthday party, stated to be famous and beloved enough for everyone to bow even before he is announced as "The most Mighty and Loyal Friend of Children, His Supreme Highness - Santa Claus". Images of Santa Claus were further popularized through Haddon Sundblom's depiction of him for The Coca-Cola Company's Christmas advertising in the 1930s.[7][36] The popularity of the image spawned urban legends that Santa Claus was invented by The Coca-Cola Company or that Santa wears red and white because they are the colors used to promote the Coca-Cola brand.[37] Historically, Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising—White Rock Beverages had already used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water in 1915 and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923.[38][39][40] Earlier still, Santa Claus had appeared dressed in red and white and essentially in his current form on several covers of Puck magazine in the first few years of the 20th century.[41] A man dressed as Santa Claus fundraising for Volunteers of America on the sidewalk of street in Chicago, Illinois, in 1902. He is wearing a mask with a beard attached.The image of Santa Claus as a benevolent character became reinforced with its association with charity and philanthropy, particularly by organizations such as the Salvation Army. Volunteers dressed as Santa Claus typically became part of fundraising drives to aid needy families at Christmas time. In 1937, Charles W. Howard, who played Santa Claus in department stores and parades, established the Charles W. Howard Santa School, the oldest continuously-run such school in the world.[42] In some images from the early 20th century, Santa was depicted as personally making his toys by hand in a small workshop like a craftsman. Eventually, the idea emerged that he had numerous elves responsible for making the toys, but the toys were still handmade by each individual elf working in the traditional manner. The 1956 popular song by George Melachrino, "Mrs. Santa Claus", and the 1963 children's book How Mrs. Santa Claus Saved Christmas, by Phyllis McGinley, helped standardize and establish the character and role of Mrs. Claus in the popular imagination. Seabury Quinn's 1948 novel Roads draws from historical legends to tell the story of Santa and the origins of Christmas. Other modern additions to the "story" of Santa include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the 9th and lead reindeer immortalized in a Gene Autry song, written by a Montgomery Ward copywriter. In popular cultureSee also: SantaConSanta1905PuckCover.jpgBy the end of the 20th century, the reality of mass mechanized production became more fully accepted by the Western public.[citation needed] Elves had been portrayed as using assembly lines to produce toys early in the 20th century. That shift was reflected in the modern depiction of Santa's residence—now often humorously portrayed as a fully mechanized production and distribution facility, equipped with the latest manufacturing technology, and overseen by the elves with Santa and Mrs. Claus as executives and/or managers.[43] An excerpt from a 2004 article, from a supply chain managers' trade magazine, aptly illustrates this depiction: Santa's main distribution center is a sight to behold. At 4,000,000 square feet (370,000 m2), it's one of the world's largest facilities. A real-time warehouse management system (WMS) is of course required to run such a complex. The facility makes extensive use of task interleaving, literally combining dozens of DC activities (putaway, replenishing, order picking, sleigh loading, cycle counting) in a dynamic queue...the DC elves have been on engineered standards and incentives for three years, leading to a 12% gain in productivity...The WMS and transportation system are fully integrated, allowing (the elves) to make optimal decisions that balance transportation and order picking and other DC costs. Unbeknownst to many, Santa actually has to use many sleighs and fake Santa drivers to get the job done Christmas Eve, and the transportation management system (TMS) optimally builds thousands of consolidated sacks that maximize cube utilization and minimize total air miles.[44] In the cartoon base, Santa has been voiced by several people, including Stan Francis, Mickey Rooney, Ed Asner, John Goodman, and Keith Wickham. Santa has been described as a positive male cultural icon: Santa is really the only cultural icon we have who's male, does not carry a gun, and is all about peace, joy, giving, and caring for other people. That's part of the magic for me, especially in a culture where we've become so commercialized and hooked into manufactured icons. Santa is much more organic, integral, connected to the past, and therefore connected to the future. — TV producer Jonathan Meath who portrays Santa, 2011[45]Many television commercials, comic strips and other media depict this as a sort of humorous business, with Santa's elves acting as a sometimes mischievously disgruntled workforce, cracking jokes and pulling pranks on their boss. For instance, a Bloom County story from 15 December 1981 through 24 December 1981 has Santa rejecting the demands of PETCO (Professional Elves Toy-Making and Craft Organization) for higher wages, a hot tub in the locker room, and "short broads,” with the elves then going on strike. President Reagan steps in, fires all of Santa's helpers, and replaces them with out-of-work air traffic controllers (an obvious reference to the 1981 air traffic controllers' strike), resulting in a riot before Santa vindictively rehires them in humiliating new positions such as his reindeer.[46] In The Sopranos episode, "...To Save Us All from Satan's Power", Paulie Gualtieri says he "Used to think Santa and Mrs. Claus were running a sweatshop over there... The original elves were ugly, traveled with Santa to throw bad kids a beatin', and gave the good ones toys." 2009 Liverpool Santa DashIn Kyrgyzstan, a mountain peak was named after Santa Claus, after a Swedish company had suggested the location be a more efficient starting place for present-delivering journeys all over the world, than Lapland. In the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, a Santa Claus Festival was held on 30 December 2007, with government officials attending. 2008 was officially declared the Year of Santa Claus in the country. The events are seen as moves to boost tourism in Kyrgyzstan.[47] The Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of Santa Clauses is held by Thrissur, Kerala, India where on 27 December 2014, 18,112 Santas came overtaking the current record of Derry City, Northern Ireland. On 9 September 2007 where a total of 12,965 people dressed up as Santa or Santa's helper which previously brought down the record of 3,921, which was set during the Santa Dash event in Liverpool City Centre in 2005.[48] A gathering of Santas in 2009 in Bucharest, Romania attempted to top the world record, but failed with only 3,939 Santas.[49] Traditions and ritualsChimney tradition Steen's The Feast of Saint NicholasThe tradition of Santa Claus entering dwellings through the chimney is shared by many European seasonal gift-givers. In pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and fire holes on the solstice.[citation needed] In the Italian Befana tradition, the gift-giving witch is perpetually covered with soot from her trips down the chimneys of children's homes. In the tale of Saint Nicholas, the saint tossed coins through a window, and, in a later version of the tale, down a chimney when he finds the window locked. In Dutch artist Jan Steen's painting, The Feast of Saint Nicholas, adults and toddlers are glancing up a chimney with amazement on their faces while other children play with their toys. The hearth was held sacred in primitive belief as a source of beneficence, and popular belief had elves and fairies bringing gifts to the house through this portal. Santa's entrance into homes on Christmas Eve via the chimney was made part of American tradition through the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" where the author described him as an elf.[50] Christmas Eve rituals Santa Claus waves to children from an annual holiday train in Chicago.In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies; in Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry or beer, and mince pies instead. In Denmark, Norway and Sweden, it is common for children to leave him rice porridge with cinnamon sugar instead. In Ireland it is popular to give him Guinness or milk, along with Christmas pudding or mince pies. In Hungary, St. Nicolaus (Mikulás) comes on the night of 5 December and the children get their gifts the next morning. They get sweets in a bag if they were good, and a golden colored birch switch if not. On Christmas Eve "Little Jesus" comes and gives gifts for everyone. In Slovenia, Saint Nicholas (Miklavž) also brings small gifts for good children on the eve of 6 December. Božiček (Christmas Man) brings gifts on the eve of 25 December, and Dedek Mraz (Grandfather Frost) brings gifts in the evening of 31 December to be opened on New Years Day. Hanging up stockings for Santa Claus, Ohio, 1928New Zealander, British, Australian, Irish, Canadian, and American children also leave a carrot for Santa's reindeer, and were traditionally told that if they are not good all year round, that they will receive a lump of coal in their stockings, although this practice is now considered archaic. Children following the Dutch custom for sinterklaas will "put out their shoe" (leave hay and a carrot for his horse in a shoe before going to bed, sometimes weeks before the sinterklaas avond). The next morning they will find the hay and carrot replaced by a gift; often, this is a marzipan figurine. Naughty children were once told that they would be left a roe (a bundle of sticks) instead of sweets, but this practice has been discontinued. Other Christmas Eve Santa Claus rituals in the United States include reading A Visit from St. Nicholas or other tale about Santa Claus, watching a Santa or Christmas-related animated program on television (such as the aforementioned Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and similar specials, such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, among many others), and the singing of Santa Claus songs such as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", "Here Comes Santa Claus", and "Up on the House Top". Last minute rituals for children before going to bed include aligning stockings at the mantelpiece or other place where Santa cannot fail to see them, peeking up the chimney (in homes with a fireplace), glancing out a window and scanning the heavens for Santa's sleigh, and (in homes without a fireplace) unlocking an exterior door so Santa can easily enter the house. Tags on gifts for children are sometimes signed by their parents "From Santa Claus" before the gifts are laid beneath the tree. A classic American image of Santa Claus.Ho, ho, hoHo ho ho is the way that many languages write out how Santa Claus laughs. "Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!" It is the textual rendition of a particular type of deep-throated laugh or chuckle, most associated today with Santa Claus and Father Christmas. The laughter of Santa Claus has long been an important attribute by which the character is identified, but it also does not appear in many non-English-speaking countries. The traditional Christmas poem A Visit from St. Nicholas relates that Santa has: . . . a little round bellyThat shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jellyHomeSee also: Santa's workshop § Location of Santa's WorkshopSanta Claus's home traditionally includes a residence and a workshop where he creates—often with the aid of elves or other supernatural beings—the gifts he delivers to good children at Christmas. Some stories and legends include a village, inhabited by his helpers, surrounding his home and shop. In North American tradition (in the United States and Canada), Santa lives on the North Pole, which according to Canada Post lies within Canadian jurisdiction in postal code H0H 0H0[51] (a reference to "ho ho ho", Santa's notable saying, although postal codes starting with H are usually reserved for the island of Montreal in Québec). On 23 December 2008, Jason Kenney, Canada's minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, formally awarded Canadian citizenship status to Santa Claus. "The Government of Canada wishes Santa the very best in his Christmas Eve duties and wants to let him know that, as a Canadian citizen, he has the automatic right to re-enter Canada once his trip around the world is complete," Kenney said in an official statement.[52] There is also a city named North Pole in Alaska where a tourist attraction known as the "Santa Claus House" has been established. The US postal service uses the city's zip code of 99705 as their advertised postal code for Santa Claus. A Wendy's in North Pole, AK has also claimed to have a "sleigh fly through".[53] Each Nordic country claims Santa's residence to be within their territory. Norway claims he lives in Drøbak. In Denmark, he is said to live in Greenland (near Uummannaq). In Sweden, the town of Mora has a theme park named Tomteland. The national postal terminal in Tomteboda in Stockholm receives children's letters for Santa. In Finland, Korvatunturi has long been known as Santa's home, and two theme parks, Santa Claus Village and Santa Park are located near Rovaniemi. In Belarus there is a home of Ded Moroz in Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.[54] Parades, department stores, and shopping mallsSee also: Santa's workshop § Santa Claus grottos/department storesGlobe icon.The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with North America and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate. (December 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Eaton's Santa Claus Parade, 1918, Toronto, Canada. Having arrived at the Eaton's department store, Santa is readying his ladder to climb up onto the building. Giant Santa Claus, PhilippinesSanta Claus appears in the weeks before Christmas in department stores or shopping malls, or at parties. The practice of this has been credited[dubious – discuss] to James Edgar, as he started doing this in 1890 in his Brockton, Massachusetts department store.[55] He is played by an actor, usually helped by other actors (often mall employees) dressed as elves or other creatures of folklore associated with Santa. Santa's function is either to promote the store's image by distributing small gifts to children, or to provide a seasonal experience to children by listening to their wishlist while having them sit on his knee (a practice now under review by some organisations in Britain,[56] and Switzerland[57]). Sometimes a photograph of the child and Santa are taken. Having a Santa set up to take pictures with children is a ritual that dates back at least to 1918.[58] The area set up for this purpose is festively decorated, usually with a large throne, and is called variously "Santa's Grotto", "Santa's Workshop" or a similar term. In the United States, the most notable of these is the Santa at the flagship Macy's store in New York City—he arrives at the store by sleigh in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the last float, and his court takes over a large portion of one floor in the store. The Macy's Santa Claus in New York City is often said to be the real Santa. This was popularized by the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street with Santa Claus being called Kris Kringle. Essayist David Sedaris is known for the satirical SantaLand Diaries he kept while working as an elf in the Macy's display, which were turned into a famous radio segment and later published. Quite often the Santa, if and when he is detected to be fake, explains that he is not the real Santa and is helping him at this time of year. Most young children accept this explanation. At family parties, Santa is sometimes impersonated by the male head of the household or other adult male family member. In Canada, malls operated by Oxford Properties established a process by which autistic children could visit Santa Claus at the mall without having to contend with crowds.[59] The malls open early to allow entry only to families with autistic children, who have a private visit with Santa Claus. In 2012, the Southcentre Mall in Calgary was the first mall to offer this service.[60] Santa Claus portrayed by children's television producer Jonathan MeathThere are schools offering instruction on how to act as Santa Claus. For example, children's television producer Jonathan Meath studied at the International School of Santa Claus and earned the degree Master of Santa Claus in 2006. It blossomed into a second career for him, and after appearing in parades and malls,[61] he appeared on the cover of the American monthly Boston Magazine as Santa.[62] There are associations with members who portray Santa; for example, Mr. Meath was a board member of the international organization called Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas.[63] Letter writing to Santa"Letters to Santa" redirects here. For the Muppet television film, see A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. For the Polish film, see Letters to Santa (film).Writing letters to Santa Claus has been a Christmas tradition for children for many years. These letters normally contain a wishlist of toys and assertions of good behavior. Some social scientists have found that boys and girls write different types of letters. Girls generally write longer but more polite lists and express the nature of Christmas more in their letters than in letters written by boys. Girls also more often request gifts for other people.[64] Many postal services allow children to send letters to Santa Claus. These letters may be answered by postal workers and/or outside volunteers.[65] Writing letters to Santa Claus has the educational benefits of promoting literacy, computer literacy, and e-mail literacy. A letter to Santa is often a child's first experience of correspondence. Written and sent with the help of a parent or teacher, children learn about the structure of a letter, salutations, and the use of an address and postcode.[66] According to the Universal Postal Union (UPU)'s 2007 study and survey of national postal operations, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has the oldest Santa letter answering effort by a national postal system. The USPS Santa letter answering effort started in 1912 out of the historic James Farley Post Office[67] in New York, and since 1940 has been called "Operation Santa" to ensure that letters to Santa are adopted by charitable organizations, major corporations, local businesses and individuals in order to make children's holiday dreams come true from coast to coast.[65] Those seeking a North Pole holiday postmark through the USPS, are told to send their letter from Santa or a holiday greeting card by 10 December to: North Pole Holiday Postmark, Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Dr, Anchorage, AK 99530-9998.[68] In 2006, according to the UPU's 2007 study and survey of national postal operations, France's Postal Service received the most letters for Santa Claus or "Père Noël" with 1,220,000 letters received from 126 countries.[69] France's Postal Service in 2007 specially recruited someone to answer the enormous volume of mail that was coming from Russia for Santa Claus.[65] Other interesting Santa letter processing information, according to the UPU's 2007 study and survey of national postal operations, are:[65] Countries whose national postal operators answer letters to Santa and other end-of-year holiday figures, and the number of letters received in 2006: Germany (500,000), Australia (117,000), Austria (6,000), Bulgaria (500), Canada (1,060,000), Spain (232,000), United States (no figure, as statistics are not kept centrally), Finland (750,000), France (1,220,000), Ireland (100,000), New Zealand (110,000), Portugal (255,000), Poland (3,000), Slovakia (85,000), Sweden (150,000), Switzerland (17,863), Ukraine (5,019), United Kingdom (750,000).In 2006, Finland's national postal operation received letters from 150 countries (representing 90% of the letters received), France's Postal Service from 126 countries, Germany from 80 countries, and Slovakia from 20 countries.In 2007, Canada Post replied to letters in 26 languages and Deutsche Post in 16 languages.Some national postal operators make it possible to send in e-mail messages which are answered by physical mail. All the same, Santa still receives far more letters than e-mail through the national postal operators, proving that children still write letters. National postal operators offering the ability to use an on-line web form (with or without a return e-mail address) to Santa and obtain a reply include Canada Post[70] (on-line web request form in English and French), France's Postal Service (on-line web request form in French),[71][72] and New Zealand Post[73] (on-line web request form in English).[74] In France, by 6 December 2010, a team of 60 postal elves had sent out reply cards in response to 80,000 e-mail on-line request forms and more than 500,000 physical letters.[66]Canada Post has a special postal code for letters to Santa Claus, and since 1982 over 13,000 Canadian postal workers have volunteered to write responses. His address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0; no postage is required.[75] (see also: Ho ho ho). (This postal code, in which zeroes are used for the letter "O", is consistent with the alternating letter-number format of all Canadian postal codes.) Sometimes children's charities answer letters in poor communities, or from children's hospitals, and give them presents they would not otherwise receive. From 2002 to 2014, the program replied to approximately "one million letters or more a year, and in total answered more than 24.7 million letters";[76] as of 2015, it responds to more than 1.5 million letters per year, "in over 30 languages, including Braille … answer[ing] them all in the language they are written".[77] In Britain it was traditional for some to burn the Christmas letters on the fire so that they would be magically transported by the wind to the North Pole. However this has been found to be less efficient than the use of the normal postal service, and this tradition is dying out in modern times, especially with few homes having open fires.[78] According to the Royal Mail website, Santa's address for letters from British children is: Santa/Father Christmas, Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ [79] In Mexico and other Latin American countries, besides using the mail, sometimes children wrap their letters to a small helium balloon, releasing them into the air so Santa magically receives them.[78] In 2010, the Brazilian National Post Service, "Correios" formed partnerships with public schools and social institutions to encourage children to write letters and make use of postcodes and stamps. In 2009, the Brazilian National Post Service, "Correios" answered almost two million children's letters, and spread some seasonal cheer by donating 414,000 Christmas gifts to some of Brazil's neediest citizens.[66] Through the years, the Finnish Santa Claus (Joulupukki or "Yule Goat") has received over eight million letters. He receives over 600,000 letters every year from over 198 different countries with Togo being the most recent country added to the list.[66] Children from Great Britain, Poland and Japan are the busiest writers. The Finnish Santa Claus lives in Korvatunturi, however the Santa Claus Main Post Office is situated in Rovaniemi precisely at the Arctic circle. His address is: Santa Claus' Main Post Office, Santa Claus Village, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle. The post office welcomes 300,000 visitors a year, with 70,000 visitors in December alone.[66] Children can also receive a letter from Santa through a variety of private agencies and organizations, and on occasion public and private cooperative ventures. An example of a public and private cooperative venture is the opportunity for expatriate and local children and parents to receive postmarked mail and greeting cards from Santa during December in the Finnish Embassy in Beijing, People's Republic of China,[80] Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland, and the People's Republic of China Postal System's Beijing International Post Office.[81][82][83][84] Parents can order a personalized "Santa letter" to be sent to their child, often with a North Pole postmark. The "Santa Letter" market generally relies on the internet as a medium for ordering such letters rather than retail stores.[undue weight? – discuss] Santa tracking, Santa websites and email to and from Santa The Christmas issue of NOAA's Weather Bureau Topics with "Santa Claus" streaking across a weather radar screen, 1958Over the years there have been a number of websites created by various organizations that have purported to track Santa Claus. Some, such as NORAD Tracks Santa, the Airservices Australia Tracks Santa Project,[85][86][87] the Santa Update Project, and the MSNBC and Bing Maps Platform Tracks Santa Project[88][89] have endured. Others, such as the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Tracks Santa Project,[90][91][92] the Santa Retro Radar – Lehigh Valley Project,[93] and the NASA Tracks Santa Project,[94] have fallen by the wayside. 1955 Sears ad with the misprinted telephone number that led to the creation of the NORAD Tracks Santa programThe origins of the NORAD Tracks Santa programme began in the United States in 1955, when a Sears Roebuck store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, gave children a number to call a "Santa hotline". The number was mistyped, resulting in children calling the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) on Christmas Eve instead. The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first call for Santa and responded by telling children that there were signs on the radar that Santa was indeed heading south from the North Pole. A tradition began which continued under the name NORAD Tracks Santa when in 1958 Canada and the United States jointly created the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).[95][96] This tracking can now be done via the Internet and NORAD's website. In the past, many local television stations in the United States and Canada likewise claimed they "tracked Santa Claus" in their own metropolitan areas through the stations' meteorologists. In December 2000, the Weather Channel built upon these local efforts to provide a national Christmas Eve "Santa tracking" effort, called "SantaWatch" in cooperation with NASA, the International Space Station, and Silicon Valley-based new multimedia firm Dreamtime Holdings.[97] In the 21st century, most local television stations in the United States and Canada rely upon outside established "Santa tracking" efforts, such as NORAD Tracks Santa.[98] Many other websites became available year-round, devoted to Santa Claus and purport to keep tabs on his activities in his workshop. Many of these websites also include email addresses which allow children to send email to Santa Claus. Most of these websites use volunteer living people as "elves" to answer email sent to Santa. Some websites, such as Santa's page on Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces, however have used or still use "bots" to compose and send email replies, with occasional unfortunate results.[99][100] The Santa Claus Museum in Columbus, TexasIn addition to providing holiday-themed entertainment, "Santa tracking" websites raise interest in space technology and exploration,[101] serve to educate children in geography.[102] and encourage them to take an interest in science.[103][104] CriticismSee also: Christmas controversyCalvinist and Puritan oppositionSanta Claus has partial Christian roots in Saint Nicholas, particularly in the high church denominations that practice the veneration of him, in addition to other saints. In light of this, the character has sometimes been the focus of controversy over the holiday and its meanings. Some Christians, particularly Calvinists and Puritans, disliked the idea of Santa Claus, as well as Christmas in general, believing that the lavish celebrations were not in accordance with their faith.[105] Other nonconformist Christians condemn the materialist focus of contemporary gift giving and see Santa Claus as the symbol of that culture.[106] Condemnation of Christmas was prevalent among the 17th-century English Puritans and Dutch Calvinists who banned the holiday as either pagan or Roman Catholic. The American colonies established by these groups reflected this view. Tolerance for Christmas increased after the Restoration but the Puritan opposition to the holiday persisted in New England for almost two centuries.[107] In the Dutch New Netherland colony, season celebrations focused on New Year's Day. Excerpt from Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Father Christmas (1686), published shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England; Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.Following the Restoration of the monarchy and with Puritans out of power in England,[108] the ban on Christmas was satirized in works such as Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas; Together with his Clearing by the Jury (1686).[109] Reverend Paul Nedergaard, a clergyman in Copenhagen, Denmark, attracted controversy in 1958 when he declared Santa to be a "pagan goblin" (translated from Danish) after Santa's image was used on fundraising materials for a Danish welfare organization Clar, 337. A number of denominations of Christians have varying concerns about Santa Claus, which range from acceptance to denouncement.[110][111] Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement, wrote: "the children should not be taught that Santa Claus has aught to do with this [Christmas] pastime. A deceit or falsehood is never wise. Too much cannot be done towards guarding and guiding well the germinating and inclining thought of childhood. To mould aright the first impressions of innocence, aids in perpetuating purity and in unfolding the immortal model, man in His image and likeness."[112] Opposition under state atheismUnder the Marxist–Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union after its foundation in 1917, Christmas celebrations—along with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the Soviet antireligious campaign.[113][114] The League of Militant Atheists encouraged school pupils to campaign against Christmas traditions, among them being Santa Claus and the Christmas tree, as well as other Christian holidays including Easter; the League established an antireligious holiday to be the 31st of each month as a replacement.[115][116] Symbol of commercialismIn his book Nicholas: The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus, writer Jeremy Seal describes how the commercialization of the Santa Claus figure began in the 19th century. "In the 1820s he began to acquire the recognizable trappings: reindeer, sleigh, bells," said Seal in an interview.[117] "They are simply the actual bearings in the world from which he emerged. At that time, sleighs were how you got about Manhattan." Writing in Mothering, writer Carol Jean-Swanson makes similar points, noting that the original figure of St. Nicholas gave only to those who were needy and that today Santa Claus seems to be more about conspicuous consumption: Our jolly old Saint Nicholas reflects our culture to a T, for he is fanciful, exuberant, bountiful, over-weight, and highly commercial. He also mirrors some of our highest ideals: childhood purity and innocence, selfless giving, unfaltering love, justice, and mercy. (What child has ever received a coal for Christmas?) The problem is that, in the process, he has become burdened with some of society's greatest challenges: materialism, corporate greed, and domination by the media. Here, Santa carries more in his baggage than toys alone![118] In the Czech Republic, a group of advertising professionals started a website against Santa Claus, a relatively recent phenomenon in that country.[119] "Czech Christmases are intimate and magical. All that Santa stuff seems to me like cheap show business," said David König of the Creative Copywriters Club, pointing out that it is primarily an American and British tradition. "I'm not against Santa himself. I'm against Santa in my country only." In the Czech tradition, presents are delivered by Ježíšek, which translates as Baby Jesus. In the United Kingdom, Father Christmas was historically depicted wearing a green cloak.[citation needed] As Father Christmas has been increasingly merged into the image of Santa Claus, that has been changed to the more commonly known red suit.[120] One school in the seaside town of Brighton banned the use of a red suit erroneously believing it was only indicative of the Coca-Cola advertising campaign. School spokesman Sarah James said: "The red-suited Santa was created as a marketing tool by Coca-Cola, it is a symbol of commercialism."[121] However, Santa had been portrayed in a red suit in the 19th century by Thomas Nast among others.[122] Controversy about deceiving childrenSee also: Paternalistic deceptionVarious psychologists and researchers have wrestled with the ways that parents collude to convince young children of the existence of Santa Claus, and have wondered whether children's abilities to critically weigh real-world evidence may be undermined by their belief in this or other imaginary figures. For example, University of Texas psychology professor Jacqueline Woolley helped conduct a study that found, to the contrary, that children seemed competent in their use of logic, evidence, and comparative reasoning even though they might conclude that Santa Claus or other fanciful creatures were real: The adults they count on to provide reliable information about the world introduce them to Santa. Then his existence is affirmed by friends, books, TV and movies. It is also validated by hard evidence: the half-eaten cookies and empty milk glasses by the tree on Christmas morning. In other words, children do a great job of scientifically evaluating Santa. And adults do a great job of duping them.[123] — Jacqueline WooleyWoolley posited that it is perhaps "kinship with the adult world" that causes children not to be angry that they were lied to for so long.[123] However, the criticism about this deception is not that it is a simple lie, but a complicated series of very large lies.[124] Objections include that it is unethical for parents to lie to children without good cause, and that it discourages healthy skepticism in children.[124] With no greater good at the heart of the lie, some have charged that it is more about the parents than it is about the children. For instance, writer Austin Cline posed the question: "Is it not possible that kids would find at least as much pleasure in knowing that parents are responsible for Christmas, not a supernatural stranger?"[124] Others, however, see no harm in the belief in Santa Claus. Psychologist Tamar Murachver said that because it is a cultural, not parental, lie, it does not undermine parental trust.[125] The New Zealand Skeptics also see no harm in parents telling their children that Santa is real. Spokesperson Vicki Hyde said, "It would be a hard-hearted parent indeed who frowned upon the innocent joys of our children's cultural heritage. We save our bah humbugs for the things that exploit the vulnerable."[125] Dr. John Condry of Cornell University interviewed more than 500 children for a study of the issue and found that not a single child was angry at his or her parents for telling them Santa Claus was real. According to Dr. Condry, "The most common response to finding out the truth was that they felt older and more mature. They now knew something that the younger kids did not".[126] See alsoChristmas portaliconHolidays portalMythology portalChristmas controversyYes, Virginia, there is a Santa ClausFlying Santa—a northeastern US tradition of pilots delivering presents to families in remote lighthousesFraternal Order of Real Bearded SantasSanta Claus, Indiana—a small Midwestern United States town named after the figure, and home to Holiday World amusement parkEaster BunnyTooth fairySanta Claus's reindeerRelated figures in folkloreJoulupukki Original Santa-Claus from FinlandMikulás Hungary, Poland, Romania Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, a figure who brings treats before ChristmasCompanions of Saint NicholasJack Frost and Old Man Winter—Mythical charactersOlentzero, Basque character, possibly derived from Roman traditionsSaint Nicholas of Myra and Saint BasilSinterklaas, Dutch mythical figureTomte—Scandinavian mythical characterYule Goat—Scandinavian Christmas symbolYule Lads a group of Icelandic figures who may leave gifts or rotting potatoes in the days before ChristmasDed Moroz (Father Frost, Russian: Дед Мороз) plays a role similar to Santa ClausMoș Gerilă name of a character from Romanian communist propagandaKrampus In German-speaking Alpine folklore, a horned figure who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved Aanteroomarmoryassembly roomatticBbackroomballroombasementbathroombedroomboardroomboiler roomboudoirbreakfast nookbreakfast roomCcabincellcellarchamberchanging roomchapelclassroomclean roomcloakroomcold roomcommon roomconference roomconservatorycontrol roomcourtroomcubbyDdarkroomdendining roomdormitorydrawing roomdressing roomdungeonEemergency roomengine roomentryFfamily roomfitting roomformal dining roomfoyerfront roomGgame roomgaragegarretgreat roomgreen roomgrottoguest roomgymHhallhallwayhomeroomhospital roomhotel roomIinglenookJjail cellKkeepkitchenkitchenetteLladies' roomlarderlaundry roomlibraryliving roomlobbylocker roomloftloungelunchroomMmaid's roommailroommen's roommorning roommotel roommud roomNnewsroomnurseryOofficeoperating roomPpanic roompantryparlorplayroompool roompowder roomprison cellRrec roomrecovery roomrestroom roomrumpus roomSsalesroomsalonschoolroomscreen porchsculleryshowroomsick roomsitting roomsolariumstaff roomstateroomstockroomstoreroomstudiostudysuitesunroomTtack roomUutility roomVvestibulevisitor's roomWwaiting roomwardroomwashroomwater closetweight roomwine cellarwomen's roomworkroom Condition: New, Size (inches): 18x18", MPN: Does Not Apply, Brand: Unbranded, Material: Cotton Linen, Style: Holiday, Room: Nursery, Type: Pillow Case & Pillow Cushion, Pattern: GOLD JOY CHRISTMAS CHRIST MERRY CHRISTMAS XMAS, Theme: Christmas, Model: PC356, Shape: Square, Color: GOLD

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