When we were younger, we used to believe that Santa Clause would drop his presents through the chimney, fill our socks with coins, and give us surprising gifts that we wished. One thing that is concerning about this belief lies in a question: how, then, would Santa give gifts to people who do not have a fireplace in their house? Besides making sure that the roof is free of damage and is installed by the best roofer Bowling Green, KY, having a chimney seemed to be an advantage during Christmas — but of course, this is only true if Santa that we know really exists and if he really shimmies down to our fireplaces.
Santa Clause did not originally drop presents in the chimney just as he also did not fly sleigh before. The Santa Clause that we know today is based on a Christian saint and bishop in the 14th century, St. Nicholas. This saint was known for his kindness, piety, and generosity. It was said that he traveled the globe and would give gifts to anyone, especially the poor. Furthermore, The name Santa Clause was derived from a Dutch name of St. Nicholas, “Sinterklaas,” and was first used in 1773. Many years after this, Washington Irving portrayed Santa as a huge bellied Dutch sailor who wears a green coat. He also added that Santa gives the presents by himself rather than dropping them in the chimney. Other descriptions of Santa Clause include plump and chubby, and one who has a little round belly.
The relevance of the chimney in this folklore is not really tied with Santa Claus. The fact is, even before Santa Claus was believed to deliver presents through the chimney, fireplaces has already played a major role in the history of Europe and its folklore.
In the 1400s, Petrus Mamoris, a French scholar, got concerned about the hysteria that the belief of witches passing through solid objects has brought. To offer a safer explanation, he told the people that witches and other mythical creates do not pass through solid objects but instead enter the houses through the chimney. This belief has gone widespread that people started believing that Santa Clause, fairies, and other creatures enter their homes in this way. Throughout the years, chimneys have served an important role in connecting the spirit world to the physical world including the English and Scottish folklore, “Brownie” and Celtic’s Bodach or a goblin. Since then, although fireplaces have been removed and replaced with a more modern structure, the story and relevance of chimneys have remained especially as the entrance passage of Santa Clause who would give presents in a family’s Christmas tree and put coins in socks hanged on the fireplaces.
Santa Claus and chimneys have a long history, and although they are typically just a part of a folklore, people still cling to them. After all, they make our December holidays exciting and more joyful.
Just a few more days before the holiday and we want to wish you a happy one!