St. Nicholas: Eastern Europe, Western Asia
Saint Nicholas was born in the villiage of Patara, in what is now modern-day Turkey, during the Roman Empire’s rule of the world. The Emperor Constantine came to power during his life. Saint Nicholas was made the Bishop of Myra at a very young age and was known as a man who gave all he had to the needy. He died on December 6th, 343. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated every year on December 6th in many countries in Europe and West Asia.
Ded Moroz or Grandfather Frost: Russia
Grandfather Frost resembles the appearance of Santa Claus, but instead of being secretive, Grandfather Frost shows up at New Year’s Eve parties and gives out gifts in person. He resembles Santa Claus, but also carries a large magical staff, like a wizard. He usually travels around with Snegurochka, or Snow Maiden, who is his granddaughter and helper. She is unique. No other gift-givers in other cultures have a female companion.
Father Christmas: England
The modern-day Santa Claus has his roots in the lore of Father Christmas. Father Christmas wears a longer coat and has a longer beard than the traditional Santa figure. The earliest mention of Father Christmas was in a Christmas carol attributed to Richard Smart from the mid-15th century. He is not described as giving gifts to children, rather he is announcing the celebration of Christ’s birth, calling all people to eat and drink.
Joulupukki or Christmas Goat: Finland
Rooted in pagan traditions, the Christmas Goat’s workshop is located in the mountains of Korvatunturi, Lapland. He doesn’t sneak around like his Western counterpart, but instead knocks on the door Christmas Eve and asks who has been good. Joulupukki does not have elves, but dwarves as helpers that ride goats.
Pere Noel: France
Pere Noel saved three children from a butcher who kidnapped them. Pere Noel leaves gifts if the children have been good, or, traditionally, the bad kids will be spanked by the butcher, Le Pere Fouettard.
Want to make the most of your holiday leftovers, without boring your family with turkey sandwiches every day? Here are some suggestions to try!
Totally Awesome Turkey Burritos
Drain a can of black beans, and heat it in a saucepan with 1 cup of your favorite salsa. Add shredded turkey to the mix until well-heated. Cook a pot of rice. Build a burrito bar with grated cheddar, sour cream, fresh sliced jalapeños, sliced limes, salsa, and flour tortillas. Enjoy!
Cranberry Cream Cheese
Great for spreading on toast for breakfast, or a quick snack on a cracker. Mix your leftover cranberry sauce with cream cheese in a mixer on slow, mixing it well. You can add as much cream cheese as you like, until you reach a good spreadable consistency.
Stuffing, Sunnyside Up
Take two cups of leftover stuffing and make into 2 patties, similar in shape and size to a large burger. Take a large frying plan and melt two tablespoons of lightly salted butter. Put the patties in the pan and cook until golden brown on bottom. Flip, and then crack an egg over each patty, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until eggs set.
Looking to get in shape during the holiday season? Here is a list of runs happening around the First Coast during the holidays. What better way to burn some of those extra feast day calories?
1. Turkey Clot Trot
November 22- Metropolitan Park
2. Casa Jingle All the Way 5k
December 6: Jekyll Island
3. Running of the Bulls 5k
December 6: Hemming Plaza
4. Reindeer Run Half Marathon and 5k
December 7: Fernandina Beach
5. Divas Half Marathon
December 7: St. Augustine Beach
6. Festival of Lights 5k
December 13: San Marco Square
7. Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
December 20: Jacksonville Landing
8. 38th The Last Gasp Cross Country Race
December 21: Jacksonville University
9. 32nd Annual Jacksonville Bank Marathon and 5k
December 28: The Bolles School