Origins of traditions… Christmas Elves, Santa and the likes

Origins of traditions… Christmas Elves, Santa and the likes

I was about 10 years old sitting in the gym one January morning waiting for the girls PE class to exit the floor when my buddy Chris said “yeah I got up in the middle of the night and there was mom and dad putting presents under the tree.” Not really considering it to be too odd as some of my gifts said “from Santa” and some “from Mom”. Chris went on to say that his dad thought it was about time to “tell him the truth, that Santa did not exist, it was mom and dad all this time.”

Christmas Elves were first introduced in literature by Louisa May Alcott in 1856. The Santa Claus character is much older, emerging in US folklore in the early 17th century from the historical figure St. Nicholas of Myra with attributes of various European Christmas traditions, especially from English Father Christmas and the Dutch Sinterklaas.


While it seems to be regarded as acceptable to persuade an innocent and uneducated child to behave in a pleasing manner, somehow, the whole of humanity has dismissed the fact they are using lies and bribery, idolatry and the occult to make this happen. Perhaps the adults may not have been told this is what they are doing? Or that we have so watered down the truth that no one sees the dangers of these actions.

As I sat there in the gym a myriad of emotions flooded my mind, from anger to humiliation, rage and hatred all due to this revelation. How could an adult lie to me? What was the point? Just to get me to behave for a month? Or was there more to it than that?

Few recognize the greater danger in this story. The perpetrated story of Santa, as everyone probably knows, is this goodly person that you cannot see or directly talk with (except for the malls and stores), but can hear from you, watches your behavior and actions, the rewards you at the end of the year. This story along with much of its symbolism is designed to sound exactingly similar to that of Jesus. When the crushing blow to the innocent mind comes in that all the Santa stuff was a lie, how then, do we explain with any hope the truth of Jesus Christ?

A ‘saint’ Nicholas did exist, also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey). His reputation evolved due to his legendary habit of secret gift-giving which gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas.

He became Bishop of Myra, was cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, then was released after Constantine became ruler and was present at the Council of Nicaea. In centuries of Greek folklore, Nicholas was seen as “The Lord of the Sea”, often described by modern Greek scholars as a “Christianized” version of Poseidon or in the Sumerian he is Dagon.

Ham the son of Noah was cursed for his actions after the flood (Genesis 9:25) and he fathered Cush (in Hebrew it means black: terror) who fathered Nimrod (in Hebrew it means ‘we shall rebel’). Nimrod is described as a “mighty hunter ” which translates to “eager to take prey and set snares”. Why the digression to Nimrod? Lets look back at Genesis 10:10 and his story.

And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel (to confuse or mix), and Erech (to lengthen, prolong or live with), and Accad (to subtly strengthen), and Calneh (fortress of Anu), in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh (abode of Ninus, fish goddess), and the city Rehoboth (avenue or path), and Calah (completion and strength).So reading this back, right to left as the Hebrews write, we can see it was Nimrod’s goal to: “Bridle or control mankind completely with his path to the home and fortress of Anu by subtly strengthening a prolonged mixing or confusion of religion.”

Asshur is simply the Assyrian name for Nimrod; Nimrod being a Babylonian name. Nimrod and his wife Semiramis are known by each of the 70 different languages of that era,  just by a different name.

Anu, the Sumerian god known as “Lord of the Constellations, Spirits and Demons” [i.e. Satan] was said to have fathered more than 50 different gods and goddesses of the ancient world. These ancient names of Enlil, Naama, Ishtar and so on, would become the gods and goddesses of the Greeks and Romans. Zeus, Apollos, Diana are all the exact same demons.  We can see this in the influence that Constantine (Mithras- Roman name for Nimrod) introduced and still prevails today.

According to Hélène Adeline Guerber and others, the origin of Sinterklaas and his helpers have been linked by some to the Wild Hunt of Wodan (Odin). Riding the white horse Sleipnir he flew through the air as the leader of the Wild Hunt. He was always accompanied by two black ravens, Huginn and Muninn. These helpers are known as Zwarte Piet or Krampus, these are the origins of the Christmas elf.

Zwarte Piet, Krampus or ‘Black Peter’ are the subject of controversy, originally represented as an enslaved devil, forced to assist his captor. Krampus occasionally appears with a sack or a basket strapped to his back; this is to cart off evil children for drowning (the link to Poseidon), eating, or transport to Hell. This chained and fire-scorched devil has re-emerged as a black human in the early 19th-century Netherlands, in the likeness of a Moor who raided the European coasts, and as far as Iceland, to abduct the local people into slavery.


Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic folklore figure described as “half-goat, half-demon”, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.

“There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch – apart from its phallic significance – may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to ‘bind the Devil’ but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites.” ~ Bruce, Maurice (March 1958). “The Krampus in Styria”.

Europeans have been exchanging greeting cards featuring Krampus since the 1800s, this is the birth of the current day Christmas card. Over time, the representation of Krampus in the cards has changed; older versions have a more frightening Krampus, while modern versions have a cuter, more Cupid-like creature, the Christmas elf. *Apkarian-Russell, Pamela (2001). Postmarked yesteryear: art of the holiday postcard. Portland, Oregon: Collectors Press. p. 136. ISBN 1-888054-54-9.


It seems clear that the Saint Nicholas tradition contains a number of elements that are not ecclesiastical or biblical in origin. In Germanic and Norse mythology, Odin (Wodan, Woden, Wuotan) is a widely revered god depicted as one-eyed (Egyptian Horus) and long-bearded, cloaked elderly man accompanied by the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard—and rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir across the sky and into the underworld as a leader of the ‘Wild Hunt’, a ghostly procession of the dead through the winter sky.


Anthony Winterbourne connects Huginn and Muninn to the Norse concepts of the “fylgja” a shape-shifting spirit being, and the “hamingja” the ghostly double of a person that may appear in the form of an animal, both characteristics attributed to Satan and the underworld. *Winterbourne, Anthony (2004). When the Norns Have Spoken: Time and Fate in Germanic Paganism. Rosemont Publishing & Printing Corp. ISBN 0-8386-4048-6.

Satan has not changed his tactics since the days of Adam & Eve, he twists the truth instead of posing an outright lie, by mixing the ways of YHVH with his own. According to scholars Jesus would have been conceived supernaturally in Mary on December 25th and born in September. Satan has all his false gods reportedly being born on December 25th (Mithra, Zeus, Apollos, etc.), in a manner consistent to his depraved desire to be ‘one up’ on YHVH.

We see later in Genesis 11 the Tower of Babel and while the ‘tower’ seems to be an innocent and industrious project until we discover the true intent behind it. The plot is twofold, first to open a portal to the heavenly realm, and second to Kill God. One of the many names for Nimrod, the foreman of this project, is Gilgamesh.Further, anyone planning to be a dictator, as was Nimrod, has to demonstrate that he is all-powerful, so that the people will submit to him.

Gilgamesh was a vile, filthy, man and yet the narrative in the Epic of Gilgamesh says of him that he was “2/3 god and 1/3 man.” Numerically speaking we see immediately the significance of the description, that being, that .666 is representative of two-thirds. Gilgamesh set up tyranny, he opposed YHVH and did his utmost to get people to forsake Him and His design for mankind.


Other sources:

Cunningham, Lawrence (2005). A brief history of saints. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-4051-1402-8.

Jones, Charles W. (1978). Saint Nikolaos of Myra, Bari, and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-40700-5.

Hélène Adeline Guerber (d. 1929). “huginn and muninn ‘Myths of the Norsemen’ from”. Retrieved 26 November 2012.

Boer-Dirks, “Nieuw licht op Zwarte Piet. Een kunsthistorisch antwoord op de vraag naar de herkomst”, Volkskundig Bulletin, 19 (1993), pp. 1-35; 2-4, 10, 14.

Davidson, Hilda Ellis (1990), Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-013627-4

Thorpe, Benjamin (1851). Northern Mythology, Compromising the Principal Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands: Compiled from Original and Other Sources. 3 vols. Volume 2 Scandinavian Popular Traditions and Superstitions. Lumley.

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