Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

December 5, 2012

Letters to the editor (Published Dec. 6, 2012)


CROSSVILLE — Pet of the Week feature praised

Dear editor,

I have been meaning to write this email for weeks and am now finally getting around to it.

I must tell you how much I enjoy the job you have done as the new managing editor of the Glade Sun. I know it was a daunting task taking the helm from Clayta, but you have done an awesome job.

The small touches have not gone unnoticed–my favorite is the Animal Shelter Pet of the Week (a cause near and dear to my heart).

On behalf of the many residents of Fairfield Glade and Cumberland County, keep up the great work.



Cyd Riede,

Loyal subscriber to Crossville Chronicle

The true story of Santa Claus

Dear editor:

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care;

In hopes that Who would be there”?

St. Nicholas, but shouldn’t it read Santa Claus? Why? And who is this St. Nicholas?

With a little research we find that St. Nicholas may have been at the Council of Nicea in 325AD, which was convened by Constantine. There are many stories of St. Nicholas presenting gifts to the needy. The most famous is the three bags of gold tossed for the dowries for three young ladies. The last bag of gold may have landed in the stockings hung on a chair near the fireplace. Is that why we hang stockings on the fireplace mantel? Anyway, St. Nicholas died December 6, 343AD but he became a favorite saint to many countries and gift giving in his name continued. OK, so there was reason for the poem to contain his name.

So how did we get Santa Claus from St. Nicholas? One theory is that the Dutch settlers brought the St. Nicholas transition to America. The children in their excited voices would talk about the coming of SinterKlass, which became Santa Claus to the American Kids. SinterKlass wore a bishop’s robe and rode on a white donkey. In 1809, Washington Irving published Knickerbocker’s History of New York, which described Santa as an old man in dark robes on a flying horse. A poem in 1821 called “The Children’s Friend” the horse was changed to a reindeer. Clement Moore in 1823 dashed off a Christmas poem for his children. It was later printed in a newspaper and became a sensation. A Visit from St. Nicholas –“Twas the night before Christmas.” Clement Moore switched Santa’s appearance from December sixth to the night of December 24. An 1870 cartoon by Thomas Nast illustrated Santa Claus in the Harper’s Weekly as we now envision him.

Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to the New York Sun and asked if there really was a Santa Claus, and the editors answered with a resounding “Yes” in an editorial that is still reprinted in Christmas Eve newspapers around the country.

I’ll always be fond of the Santa who is round and red-suited, full of fun and plenty of ho-ho-ho. I love this friendly monk-like Santa and I look at this old codger with the appreciative eyes of a proud grandfather. We may have given Saint Nicholas a secular makeover, dressed him up in a bright red suit, yet, the gifts he brings down the chimney to good children still echo God’s gift to us all, His only Son, Jesus Christ. It is in His name that we pass on to you the blessing of this Christmas season.

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

James L. Radtke

Fairfield Glade