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DH's observation

Night Elf

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In older European legends, Saint Nicholas was accompanied by a demon who went by names like Black Peter, Krampus, Dark Helper, Knecht Rupprecht, Pelznickle, etc. Some of the characteristics of our American Santa Claus have more in common with Nicholas' "Dark Helper" than with the saint himself. (The helper comes down the chimney, has a long beard, carries a bag, and punishes naughty children, for example). When Thomas Nast illustrated Twas the Night Before Christmas, he based his Santa Claus not on depictions of Saint Nicholas, but on his childhood memories of St. Nicholas's helper. The two characters have melded over time and were already doing so long before Nast's depiction.


"Ho, ho, ho" is a phrase that can be found in mythology, so I suppose it's not surprising to have a giant and a "jolly old elf" saying it. It was a common exclamation of the character Puck, who is variously depicted as a fairy, a hobgoblin, an imp, or a demon.  


In the morality plays of the 15th and 16th centuries, the devil also usually entered with the line, "Ho, ho, ho, what a fellow I am."


I find this sort of thing very interesting!

Edited by MercyA
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