Santa Claus is the jolly face of Christmas no matter where one goes. Santa brings gifts, cheer, and excitement each December 24 as he departs the North Pole with his sleigh and reindeer, traversing thousands of miles with amazing speed, always with enough gifts in his magical sleigh to satisfy expectant children around the world.
Santa Claus’ namesake, however, is Saint Nicolas, one of the most popular saints in the Greek and Latin churches. History veils his true existence, but it is thought that he was the Bishop of Myra (in Turkey) sometime in 4th century A.D. He had been born to a wealthy family, but when his parents died he was left with a considerable sum of money. In the most famous story about his life, he threw bags of gold through the windows of three girls about to be forced into lives of prostitution. Nicholas performed miracles while still a young boy, and thus was chosen by the people of Myra to be their Bishop. By the 6th century A.D., Saint Nicholas was famous; by the 10th century churches were being built in his honor. Nearly 400 churches were dedicated to him in England alone during the late Middle Ages.
December 6 marks Saint Nicholas Feast Day. Over the years, people began giving gifts in his name on this day, a tradition that still exists in some countries. After the Reformation, his legend continued in Holland as Sinterklass. Martin Luther replaced this bearer of gifts with the Christ Child, or, in German, Christkindl. Over the years, that became pronounced as Kriss Kringle, and ironically is now considered another name for Santa Claus.
This Santa Claus Christmas coin captures the joy of the Season, wherever celebrated. Whether the children sing songs about “Jolly Old Saint Nicolas”, or write letters to the North Pole addressed to Santa and his elves, the celebration is joyous. Somehow it hearkens back to that “First Christmas” when the shepherds brought gifts of humility and the Kings of the East brought gifts of precious spices to the Christ Child. This Christmas coin is “splash-minted” to provide exceptional depth and detail. The reverse is engravable, for a special Christmas message. Merry Christmas!