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the Encyclopedia Britannica, the legend of Santa Claus began with Saint Nicholas, a saint from the fourth century, but there are a lot of different theories:

Is Santa Claus real? That's a question you need to answer personally. Read this theory on the origin of Santa Claus? Or vote for yourself: Is Santa Claus Real or Not.

Is Santa Claus real? Read on and decide yourself: Here's a poem I wrote today: 9-3-2008:

Is Santa Real?

From many a child I often hear
A question one would think I fear.
So inquisitive their minds,
So bright their eyes,
I'd never be a party
to feeding them lies!

“Santa are you real?” they ask and ask.
Answering each in earnest is monumental task!
Driven like a race car
Persistent – oh they are –
They whisper in my ear...
They shout it from afar!

Santa are you real or NOT?
My friends all say you’re fake!
Please answer me -- once and for all
Answer NOW, for Christmas sake!

Well I answer the question
With a question of my own:
If I’m not real...
Then who wrote this poem?

It’s the SPIRIT you see
That makes Santa “BE”.
And certainly now,
While that SPIRIT's in ME

I AM REAL and I am Santa!

Follow up: 6-23-2009

I struggled with for a while, since lying offends me, especially to a loved one and a child. But I no longer struggle with the answer since I provide this a more eloquent and inspired by the moment version of the following crude statement: If we learn something very important from someone, he or she is more real than a flesh and blood person who never gave so much to the world. That makes the answer easy and honest. "Harry Potter" may be a contender?

People such as: "Chaplin", "Bojangles", "Churchill", "Mother Theresa" ("Mother" is added out of respect not necessity.) "Van Gogh", "Shakespeare", "Picasso", "Poe", "Pasteur" and I believe even "Pinocchio" and "Santa", who positively continue to teach and inspire us and our children, fall into a special category that feels uncomfortable if dishonored. It is best described with a couple of analogies: "The battle between fur traders and animal conservationist and zoologists." "Or the battle between the "Tree Huggers and the Lumber Industry." In the end, humanity teaches us to not only accept man's imperfection, but to marvel at its diversity and the growth it spurs. In that light, think of this: How does "" sound to you? Kind of like squid ice cream?

Maintaining a reverence for this class of "Chosen Ones" that time has elevated to unique summit in our society, is a responsibility I have very unintentionally come to shoulder. I can identify with the character Tim Allen portrayed, (OK everybody, it's Tool Time!), when Santa fell off the roof and he walked over to help, he had no idea of just what was in store for him! And similarly, when my young son and I (He was home sick that day I believe and we were playing on the computer) purchased "" and "" in the 1996, I had no idea of what I was in store for. I felt guilty (I was raised a Roman Catholic.) because I felt I was keeping it away from it rightful home. I let that domain name go and now FIFA has it and that makes sense. But a funny thing happened in months that followed my son and I setting up The letters to Santa started coming in. Letters were mostly predictable: "For Christmas I want..." or "Sometimes I wasn't good will I still get presents?" But, other times the letters moved me sometimes to the point of making me uncomfortable. Letters from parents not kids: "I am too old to believe in you but my husband died in the war and please make the pain go away fro our son this Christmas..." Or, don't give me any presents this year just bring peace to the world. Well the letters keep coming...

Just last night an indirect letter to Santa came in came in and it inspired my writing this story: "Dear whomever owns the domain (im sorry sir I did not catch your name), I would just like to tell you that you helped me alot, Im 23 years old and have just moved into a house with my girlfriend who i'm engaged to be married and we've been talking about maybe in a few years starting a family of our own when inevitibly the subject of santa came up and we couldn't decide if it was right or wrong to tell a child that santa is real, after reading something which you posted on I can safely say that you have reassured me that it would be the right thing, so thank you very much for your help. Sorry about this random e-mail (i bet you freaked out when you saw this in your inbox haha) So best of luck with the site I hope your getting lots of traffic near christmas time."

So when I spend my time playing/working on and I see the worried look in my wife's eyes and I have no idea why I continue to spend so much time on it, at least I have the memories of the people who may have been helped by what Santa gives us. Like Pinocchio, Santa's message is real. And it's by no means a DOT-COM type of message. Santa is not a store or a business. It's more of a DOT-NET type of network. A positive spirit providing a non-denominational, spirit-of-giving-and-caring fun to everyone with a cool dude as the host. (Not me by any means -- I haven't even been promoted to "Elf" yet!) Santa. That's the man, icon, name, pure and simple complete with its plus rating for a first name basis. Ask any kid who "Santa" is, it's a no brainer. And having this name in my possession, I am glad to give his home on the Internet a place of honor so it doesn't feel like squid ice cream. I am proud to have a small role as "Keeper of the Flame". The Spirit that is given to you when our souls are born is the spirit that Santa tries to keep alive. It is non-denominational and it is unselfish and compassionate. With these qualities the world will be a better place for our children and their children to. Without these qualities, the world may not be any more real than Pinocchio in a few years! So thanks Santa. And Stay Real!

Traditionally speaking, Saint Nicholas was born in the ancient Lycian seaport city of Patara, and, when young, he traveled to Palestine and Egypt. He became bishop of Myra soon after returning to Lycia. He was imprisoned during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians but was released under the rule of Emperor Constantine the Great and attended the first Council (325) of Nicaea.
After his death he was buried in his church at Myra, and by the sixth century his shrine there had become well known. In 1087, Italian sailors or merchants stole his alleged remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint's popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centres. Nicholas' relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola, Bari.
Saint Nicholas became well known for his generosity and kindness and legends of miracles he performed for the poor and unhappy grew. News of his good deeds abound. It is said he gave generous marriage dowries of gold to three girls whom poverty would otherwise have been extremely poor. He restored to life three children who had been chopped up by a butcher and put in a brine tub.
In the Middle Ages, devotion to Nicholas extended to all parts of Europe. He became the patron saint of Russia and Greece; of charitable fraternities and guilds; of children, sailors, unmarried girls, merchants, and pawnbrokers; and of such cities as Fribourg, Switz., and Moscow.
Thousands of European churches were dedicated to him, one as early as the sixth century, built by the Roman emperor Justinian I, at Constantinople (now Istanbul). Nicholas' miracles were a favourite subject for medieval artists and liturgical plays, and his traditional feast day was the occasion for the ceremonies of the Boy Bishop, a widespread European custom in which a boy was elected bishop and reigned until Holy Innocents' Day (December 28).
After the Reformation, Nicholas' cult disappeared in all the Protestant countries of Europe except Holland, where his legend persisted as Sinterklaas (a Dutch variant of the name Saint Nicholas). Dutch colonists took this tradition with them to New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the American colonies in the 17th century.
Sinterklaas was adopted by the country's English-speaking majority under the name Santa Claus, and his legend of a kindly old man was united with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded good children with presents.
Today, the magic of Santa Claus is not limited to any religioun. The power of Santa’s legend affects children, parents, and grandparents from all over the world. “Santa”, today, is an international and inter-denominational spirit of giving and helping the needy and deserving, and a symbol of hope and generosity. In that light, he is truly magical and immortal.

Is Santa Claus real? Only you decide: Maybe when people ask "Is Santa Claus real or not?", what they should really ask is if what Santa Claus stands for is real or not: Kindness, generosity, unselfishness. These Santa Claus virtues ARE CERTAINLY real and valuable!

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