Lesson Plan: The Real Santa Claus Story
II. While Reading Activities
- ban |ban| verb (bans, banning, banned) [ with obj. ] officially or legally prohibit: he was banned from driving for a year | a proposal to ban all trade in ivory.
- disembark|ˌdisimˈbärk| verb [ no obj. ] leave a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle: the passengers began to disembark.
- blue-blood |ˈblo͞o ˌbləd| noun-noble birth: blue blood is no guarantee of any particular merit, competence, or expertise.
- folklore |ˈfōklôr| noun-the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.
- heretic |ˈherəˌtik| noun-a person believing in or practicing religious heresy.
- brawling |brôl| noun-verb [ no obj. ]fight or quarrel in a rough or noisy way.
- macabre |məˈkäbrəməˈkäb| adjective-disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury: a macabre series of murders.
- pout |pout|verb [ no obj. ] push one’s lips or one’s bottom lip forward as an expression of petulant annoyance or in order to make oneself look sexually attractive: she lounged on the steps, pouting | [ with obj. ] : he shrugged and pouted his lips.
- benevolent |bəˈnevələnt| adjectivewell meaning and kindly: a benevolent smile.
- pitch-(pitching) a form of words used when trying to persuade someone to buy or accept something: a good sales pitch.
Source: New Oxford American Dictionary
But, beginning in the 1500s, the Protestant Reformation swept away the cult of Christian saints, denouncing them as unbiblical and idolatrous. Christmas, too, went pretty much by the wayside for much of Protestant Europe during this time.
Some countries, though, such as the Netherlands, kept alive traditions associated with Sinterklaas. And it was these customs that 19th century New Yorkers wanted to revive.
Merchants seized on this guy right away, Bowler says. “They immediately saw the possibility that this personification could be useful in their selling.” In other words, Santa was pitching products almost as soon as he hitched up his sleigh.