Ziyara Shriners

Potentate's Message








Santa has not always appeared the way we think of him today. The first gift-giver was a true person--St. Nicholas, who lived in Myra (Turkey) in about 300A.D. Born an only child, orphaned at an early age, he grew up in a monastery and at 17 became a priest. Stories are told of his generosity as he gave his wealth to those in need, especially children – stories tell of him either dropping bags of gold down chimneys or throwing them through the windows where they landed in the stockings hung by the fire. Nicholas became a bishop--hence a white beard and red cape.


The “new” Protestants did not want St. Nicholas as their gift-giver and each region developed its own gift-giver. In France: Pere Noel; in England: Father Christmas; in Germany: Weihnachtsmann; and to the Dutch, he was Sinterklaas (which was mis-pronounced in America as Santa Claus).  America’s Santa had his beginnings with Clement C. Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas", and forty years later, Thomas Nast re-created Santa as a plump, jolly old fellow with a white beard and smoking a long stemmed pipe.  From 1931 to 1964, Haddon Sundblom created a new Santa each Christmas for Coca-Cola and this is the Santa we know: red suit trimmed with white fur, leather boots and belt, long white beard and a pack of toys slung onto his back.


Is there really a Santa?  There are thousands of them and one is reading this article.  Santa has a red Moroccan Fez, with a drum or painted face or white tuxedo or carries a national flag or rides a motorcycle or drives a white van on the New York State Thruway.  Santa also sports a white rose and sews garments and quilts, provides toys and monetary contributions and volunteers countless hours at Shriner’s Hospitals.  Santa gives gifts of healing debilitating burns; gifts of the ability to walk; gifts of the ability to hold and grasp; gifts of rehabilitating spinal cord injuries and gifts of love. 


Santa, Lady Mona and I wish you the peace that comes with the holidays for you truly know the spirit of the season.


See yu about the Realm.



Ziyara Shriners
Copyright © 2004-2005
All rights reserved
Revised: October 26, 2012