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Culture Lesson: Father Christmas

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We have all heard of Father Christmas (or Santa) and you have probably known for a long time that he doesn't exist. But did you know that the character of Father Christmas is based on a real life person? That's right, Father Christmas is based on a person called St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas hailed from Myra in southern Turkey and passed away in 343 AD. He was the Bishop (a priest of high rank) of  Myra and well known for his gift giving; he would secretly give presents to the impoverished of the town. St. Nicholas came from an affluent family who were very religious. From them he learned the words of Jesus, "sell what you own and give the money to the poor". He was able to use his wealth to help those who needed it. His most famous act of generosity was to give money to three sisters so that they could afford to get married.
Over the centuries, the generosity and kindness of St. Nicholas has developed into the character that we know and love. Somehow, though, Father Christmas now lives in Lapland and travels around by reindeer!

To this day, Father Christmas is still also known as St. Nicholas.

Now match the following words to the definitions below:

hailed - passed away - impoverished - affluent - act - generosity - centuries


Link: Culture Lesson: Guy Fawkes Night

  • Rich:
  • Died:
  • Hundreds of years:
  • Came from:
  • Poor:
  • Action:
  • Giving a lot of help or money to others: