Is There Really a Santa Claus?

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Santa Claus
Source: Heather Morey, “Santa Claus Portrayed by Jonathan Meath,” wikipedia.org, 2012

ProCon.org once again explores the Santa Claus debate on its website, https://santa-claus.procon.org, re-released just in time for the holidays.

In response to the question, “Is there really a Santa Claus?,” ProCon.org features pros and cons from the New York Sun (pro), Ebeneezer Scrooge (con), North American Aerospace Defense Command – NORAD (pro), Spy magazine (con), and others.

Santa believers say that he is commonly sighted at shopping malls, that the disappearance of milk and cookies left for him is evidence of his existence, and that, after all, those Christmas gifts have to come from somewhere.

Santa skeptics say that no one man could deliver presents to millions of households in one night, that his toy factory has never been located in the vicinity of the North Pole, and that Christmas presents are really purchased in secret by parents.

The website presents a history and images of Santa Claus as well as “Did You Know?” information including:

1. Santa’s ancestor, St. Nicholas, was a monk born around 280 AD in what is now known as Turkey.

2. The first time Santa appeared in his now-classic red and white outfit was in work by illustrator Thomas Nast, published in Harper’s Weekly in the 1860s.

3. Every Christmas since 1958 the North American Aerospace Defense Command (known as NORAD) has tracked Santa’s worldwide flight using radar and satellites.

4. The first time Santa was spotted in a department store was in 1890 in Brockton, Massachusetts.

ProCon.org CEO Kamy Akhavan said: “Just for fun this holiday season, we wanted to give our 27 million readers a treat and showcase pros and cons about Santa Claus. All year our research covers serious issues like the death penalty, immigration, and health care. Now that it’s holiday time, we made an exception for old Saint Nick, and we hope that people will enjoy learning more about this jolly and mysterious man.”

For pros, cons, and related research on Santa Claus, visit “Is there really a Santa Claus?” at ProCon.org.