yes i did just coincidentally write a post on the day after christmas about on the origins of the myth and metaphor of santa claus and the relationships between santa claus, the norse god odin,tolkien and the “the hobbit while wearing my fantasy football t-shirt which features a tolkien-esque conception of a odin/gandalf character playing football.
i guess i now have to wear the t-shirt with odin when we go to see “the hobbit: the desolation of smaug”.
and i suppose i should go back and read “metaphors we live by”.
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.