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on the origins of the myth and metaphor of santa claus

collector’s weekly has a long article on the origins of santa claus which they note stretches all the way back to the norse god odin who, “.. wandered the earth…[disguised himself as a bearded old man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and cloak and carrying a traveler’s staff. He looked a lot like Gandalf the Gray in “Lord of the Rings…Children would leave hay in their shoes for Odin’s eight-legged horse and find it replaced with treats the next day.”” of course, this is doubly interesting with a child named odin and having recently learned that the norse myths as we know them were created by snorri sturluson who wrote/compiled the prose edda and greatly influenced tolkien when he was writing the hobbit ( one of my odin’s favorite books ). you can find much more on that in “Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths”. somewhat relatedly, french anthropologist and ethnologist, claude lévi-strauss wrote on the 1951 french religious authorities struggle with father christmas.


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