“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase


2008. 12. 03. 10:21

The legendary Santa Claus is not a legend at all, he is only the well-known image (red clothes, white beard, big belly, sleigh pulled by reindeer) that was invented centuries ago. Saint Nicholas was a benevolent and shy person, a Christian leader in Myra (now Turkey) in the 4th century. His benevolence was known all over the continent. His current name comes from the Dutch settlers’ usage: ‘Sinterklaas’. Even the chimney-story is a result of his shyness: it was told that once he was so shy that he climbed up on the roof of a house to drop his gift down the chimney, which landed in the socks of a little girl who hung them to the fireplace to dry them.

Nowadays the tradition of Christmas seems to have lost its original essence. The run-up to the holiday have become a real rush for presents that are handed over on Christmas Day. The celebration of Boxing Day, takes place on December 26, the feast of St. Stephen, and is a part of the holiday season unique to Great Britain. Traditionally, on this day the alms box at every English church is opened, and the contents are distributed to the poor. This tradition, at least has religious roots.
Decorating a fir tree relates to another legend in Germany: one evening, on his way home through the woods, Martin Luther noticed the dark clear sky with the beautifully shining stars through the branches. He wanted to share this experience with his wife so he cut a fir tree out, took it home and put candles on it so that she could also see its beauty – symbolising the amazing Christmas sky.


  • ongoing – folyamatban lévő
  • legendary – legendás
  • to invent – kitalálni
  • benevolent – jószándékú
  • settlers – letelepülők
  • essence – lényeg
  • to hand over – átadni
  • alms – alamizsna
  • the poor – a szegények
  • fir tree – fenyőfa
  • experience – élmény (C), tapasztalat (U)

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