Santa Claus is a serious thing!

Santa Claus is a serious thing. And not just in the period of childhood.

We spoke about it while creating the book trailer of the book “La storia di Babbo Natale” (The Story of Santa Claus” edizioni Mediterranee, author Carlo Sacchettoni*.

Behind the fable, to which more or less we all believed, and behind the fiction in which we adults hide, to celebrate the most popular and partly pagan aspect of the holiday, lie sociological, anthropological and cultural elements, that bring us back to the ancient solstice celebrations, to the solar cults, to the initiation ceremonies, to the Nordic and Celtic mythology. Everyone knows Santa, but few know who he really is. Its origins are lost in the memory of Saint Nicholas, confused in time and by various cultures, with sylvan figures, which are linked to a mythical anthropomorphic representation of winter.

This work dedicated to Santa Claus, unique in its kind, tries to synthesize, starting from different angles, all the aspects of this singular character, identifying parallels or distances with the other bearers of gifts, conceived by popular imagination in the last two millennia. Particular attention was devoted to the study of the meaning of the exchange of gifts and the attempt to explain the magic of the “gift dispenser”. The book reviews the various figures that the collective imagination has used for this function of “gift-holder”, starting from the Three Wise Men of the Gospel story, up to the Epiphany and other “precursors” of Santa Claus. The author, a famous Italian journalist, analyzes the genesis of the character, from Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus. The research does not stop at the Italian reality, but also reviews the various ways of representing Santa Claus or other figures, in the Christmas traditions of various countries of the world. A whole chapter is dedicated to the thousands of letters sent from all over the world to the various houses and post offices of Santa Claus, trying to identify the different types.

The book ends by dwelling also on the controversy that the popularity of this character has aroused in various environments and on the lucky commercial exploitation that has and has had the figure of Santa Claus, protagonist of a fairy tale that is becoming more and more a true myth of our time.

Let’s celebrate the Christmas this year reading this book  “The Story of Santa Claus” published in 1996.

Carlo Sacchettoni is a RAI journalist, working at TG2. He has worked at the BBC in London, at Vatican Radio and, for many years, at RAI’s Giornale Radio. A creator and presenter of several radio programmes, he is also the author of film and television documentaries, which he directed and produced. He has always nurtured a wide range of interests: from science to archaeology, from the history of religions to cultural anthropology.

Enjoy watching our book trailer:

Article translated into English from the website

La storia di Babbo Natale




Mercedes Corbelli



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