When we are still children, we are told a story that during Christmas night Santa Claus enters the chimney and leaves the presents on the Christmas tree without anyone seeing him. Then we think, how many houses here in Brazil have a chimney? Less than 2% of all households. But we are children, and that doesn't matter. It is also seen in films that we can write a letter to Santa Claus asking what we are going to get, but I think many children have already been frustrated with that.
What nobody knows is where the legend of Santa Claus came from. I will tell you how it all started.
Claus – The Begining
Around 1890 in Greenland, Christmas was celebrated with many decorations made of ice, and snowmen originated there. The gifts symbolized the whole Christian story of where Christmas really came from. But who was Claus?
Claus was a barber, a man on his 60’s, who has always had a painful life, and who was always discriminated against for being the son of a man accused of murdering the mayor of his city. Everyone looked at Claus with disgust, and so he would carry his father's guilty fortune for the rest of his life. The few people who frequented his barber shop felt pity for him, and were willing to be customers so that he could have an honest service, but that did not mean that these people did not fear him deep in their hearts, and Claus realized that.
He always shaved his own beard. Every morning he woke up in a good mood, willing to pretend that nothing happened around him, and that his past did not pursue him. In the first minutes of the morning sun, he opened his barbershop, and waited hours and hours until a customer came in asking for one of his services.
On a beautiful morning of January 8, 1891, a beautiful woman, blonde with curly hair and very friendly, entered her establishment asking for some touches to her hair. Claus, smiling, showed her the chair, surrounded her body with a protective cover so she wouldn't get dirty and started a small and delightful conversation like he had never had before in his life. The woman seemed unconcerned, as if Claus hadn't been carrying that weight, or else he would be dreaming.
At some point of the conversation, the woman introduced herself saying her name was Grace and she had just moved from a city in Finland and still didn’t know anybody there yet. Claus eagerly understood at the same time the reason for so much indifference as to his character, but that would be short lived.
The minute he was about to start the job, with scissors in hand, some people outside began to knock on the door shouting for Grace to get out.
- Grace, get out of there now, that man is the son of a murderer. If you don't want to die, get out of there now.
Grace recognized the man in a high-pitched, dreadful voice. It was her husband. In the same instant of the last syllables coming from his voice, Grace started to cry and to beg for Claus not to do anything . She ran away from there.
A few seconds later, the silence hung under his barbershop again and this was the culminating moment in deciding a radical change in his life.
- I can not stand!!! And I will not tolerate it anymore.
Roared Claus by throwing his scissors at a wooden cabinet by nailing one end to the door.
- From that moment on I will be another man, and from now on they’ll have a real reason to fear me.
2 years later - Christmas Eve
Claus' barbershop had been closed for 2 years, and no one else had heard of Claus or what had happened to him. The fact is that everyone in the city was relieved.
It was Christmas Eve, 1893. At the base of the large decorated tree in the center of the city, a man in snow-colored winter clothes, black boots, the color of his clothes and a white beard sat in a large armchair. Swinging a small bell and shouting hohoho, he said:
- Hohoho, I'm the old man of the toys. All the children come to me and say what they want. The old man will be gifting all the girls and boys. Hohoho.
And all the people, astonished by that strange character, began to crowd around the tree with great curiosity. Claus, who previously had a well-groomed beard and hair, was now unrecognizable, and from now on he was called "Old Man of the Toys" by the entire population.
The children, when they heard the words of the old man, were excited to go to him. In the end, Claus had a huge list of children's requests, containing the address provided by the parents and by this time he was already known and called by the children as Santa.
Christmas marked in history
Christmas day. During the day they were all hurried and excited about the nightly festivities, while Claus put his whole plan into practice.
The city was small, and there were 88 children on Claus’ list.
Throughout the day, without resting, Claus built children's toys with his own hands. They were wooden carts, rag dolls and many other things that he did not understand, but which he invented and adapted as close as possible to those requests that he did not understand very well, thus creating new toys and sometimes some with a more grotesque appearance such as the spider doll that he had just finished.
During Christmas Night, Claus waited for the parties to cease, so that before the night was over, while everyone was exhausted sleeping in their homes deeply, he would enter the chimneys and practice his cruel revenge.
After entering the chimney, Santa Claus would go to the Christmas tree in the house, put a toy addressed to the child in the house, and then immediately look for his parents' rooms. He carried with him a bag of gifts, and a large knife and a small razor on his belt.
Upon entering the parents' room, Claus took the knife and killed the man and woman with a stab in the chest. Then he removed their eyes and hung them on the Christmas tree as ornaments. With the razor he left the two people bald and without the leather of the head too. His service was complete. Next house.
It was an exhausting night for Santa Claus, but the very next morning the result was a real and abominable scene of despair in every corner of the city. Just as he wanted and planned. Police officers, families and visitors, nervous and desperate without knowing what to do, when a voice in the crowd shouted.
- It was the Old Man of the Toys. All who are dead were those who had children and took them to him on Christmas Eve.
Another voice shouted:
- Let’s kill him.
So everyone united and searched every corner for the Old Man of the Toys, but for more than 6 hours they found nothing.
Passing in front of Claus’ old barbershop, some group members realized that the place was no longer so abandoned. Boot trails across the snow on the sidewalk marked the way to the door, which now had no more snow under the lock.
With a heavy kick, the door came down quickly, and the first two people entered together. The rest of the group looked forward to revenge. They were waiting for a signal to invade the house and kill the old man of toys. But a few seconds passed, and the only thing they heard was a blast of gunfire and the two men were literally flying backwards off the sidewalk, bloody and dead. Then Claus came out the front door shouting:
- Hohoho come and get your goodies with Santa Claus. Hohoho.
Then he began to discharge hundreds of shots with firearms in his hands, killing dozens of people.
The police came and surrounded the entire block, and Claus came inside to hide. The police wanted to invade to try to arrest Claus, but the mass population came screaming:
- Let's burn Santa Claus.
And that's what they did. The flames were so strong and tall that to get close to the barbershop site people had to wait more than a day for the heat to subside.
Santa Claus' story has been distorted over time, and today, at least in theory, he is a good person, a good old man. But remember who he really was in the past.