On “Santa Claus”:
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and simply “Santa”, is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins who, in many Western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on 24 December, the night before Christmas Day. (ref:http://1234christmas.com/about-santa-claus-sinterklaas/131/)
On Santa Claus derivation from the Germanic god ODIN:
Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples (including the English; Old English geola or guili) celebrated a midwinter event called Yule. With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas. During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were said to increase in frequency, such as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. The leader of the wild hunt is frequently attested as the god Odin and he bears the Old Norse names Jólnir, meaning “yule figure” and the name Langbarðr, meaning “long-beard”.
The god Odin’s role during the Yuletide period has been theorized as having influenced concepts of St. Nicholas in a variety of facets, including his long white beard and his gray horse for nightly rides (see Odin’s horse Sleipnir), which was traded for reindeer in North America. Margaret Baker comments that “The appearance of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, whose day is 25th of December, owes much to Odin, the old blue-hooded, cloaked, white-bearded Giftbringer of the north, who rode the midwinter sky on his eight-footed steed Sleipnir, visiting his people with gifts. … Odin, transformed into Father Christmas, then Santa Claus, prospered with St Nicholas and the Christchild became a leading player on the Christmas stage.” (ref: The Danish Histories, Book 1)
It is attested in primary sources that sacrifices were made to Odin during blóts – Norse pagan sacrifices to the Norse gods land spirits. Adam of Bremen relates that every ninth year, people assembled from all over Sweden to sacrifice at the Temple at Uppsala. Male slaves and males of each species were sacrificed and hung from the branches of the trees.
Note: Now you know where the little figurines hung from the branches of the Xmas tree come from…
As the Swedes had the right not only to elect their king but also to depose him, the sagas relate that both King Domalde and King Olof Trätälja were sacrificed to Odin after years of famine. It has been argued that the killing of a combatant in battle was to give a sacrificial offering to Odin. (ref: Wikipedia). It should be noted that ODIN was a derivation of the god mercury:
“Worship of Odin may date to Proto-Germanic paganism. The Roman historian Tacitus may refer to Odin when he mentions Mercury as the chief god of the Germanic tribes.(see Tacitus on Germania) The reason is that, like Mercury, Odin was regarded as a Psychopomp, “guide of souls” and considered the god who brought poetry to mankind.”
On Mercury who was the root of Odin:
Mercury did not appear among the numinous di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. From the beginning, Mercury had essentially the same aspects as Hermes, wearing winged shoes (talaria) and a winged hat (petasos), and carrying the caduceus, a herald’s staff with two entwined snakes that was Apollo‘s gift to Hermes. He was also, like Hermes, the Romans’ psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. (ref: Wikipedia)
On Hermes who was the root for Mercury:
Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moves freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. In some myths he is a trickster, and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind. Prior to being known as Hermes, Frothingham thought the god to have existed as a snake-god. Angelo (1997) thinks Hermes to be based on the Thoth archetype. The absorbing (“combining”) of the attributes of Hermes to Thoth developed after the time of Homer amongst Greek and Roman; Herodotus was the first to identify the Greek god with the Egyptian. (ref: Wikipedia).
On Thoth, the Egyptian god from which Hermes was derived:
Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma’at) who stood on either side of Ra’s boat. The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory.
On Nimrod being the source for Mercury, who was the source of Thoth, and from whom Santa Clause is derived:
Two prominent theories are now held in regard to Nimrod’s identity: one, adopted by G. Smith and Jeremias, is that Nimrod is to be identified with the Babylonian hero Izdubar or Gishdubar (Gilgamesh); the second, that of Sayce,Pinches, and others, identifies Nimrod with Marduk, the Babylonian Mercury. The former identification is based on the fact that Izdubar is represented in the Babylonian epos as a mighty hunter, always accompanied by four dogs, and as the founder of the first great kingdom in Asia. Moreover, instead of “Izdubar”—the correct reading of which had not yet been determined—Jeremias saw the possibility of reading “Namra Udu” (shining light), a reading which would have made the identification with Nimrod almost certain. Those who identify Nimrod with Marduk, however, object that the name of Izdubar must be read, as is now generally conceded, “Gilgamesh,” and that the signs which constitute the name of Marduk, who also is represented as a hunter, are read phonetically “Amar Ud”; and ideographically they may be read “Namr Ud”—in Hebrew “Nimrod.” The difficulty of reconciling the Biblical Nimrod, the son of Cush, with Marduk, the son of Ea, may be overcome by interpreting the Biblical words as meaning that Nimrod was a descendant of Cush. (ref: Jewish Encyclopedia).