Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Santa Claus lives in a Stone Chamber

by Robert Jackson Bennett - December 21st, 2010
Mr. Bennett addresses the myth that "Santa Claus lives in a workshop at the North Pole:"
     "This is not quite correct. Reports indicate that the Yule King does not live at the North Pole, but rather underneath a frigid mountain that forms the top of the world. It is similar to Olympus, but much starker and with much more brutal weather. And the King does not actually live there, but instead sleeps in an enormous cavern in the very heart of the peak. The nature of the cavern is a subject of some debate: some believe it is like an ornate tomb or dour cenotaph, while others claim it is filled with the statues of the King’s many servants, while others contend that it is filled with gears and machinery. Some suggest it is a bit of all of them. This can easily be believed, as the Country in the North (as it is called) is reported to be a very strange and dangerous place; some reckless adventurers who traveled there returned years later full of confusing stories, yet the strangest thing was that they did not seem to have aged a day.
Wayland’s Smithy, which is believed to be similar to Santa's chamber. 

     The Yule King’s beard, oddly enough, is closely linked to his chamber: as he sleeps for the remaining 361 days of the year, the beard continues to grow, eventually filling the entire room and providing much-needed insulation against the bitter winds that swirl throughout the Country in the North. When he wakes, his servants trim it back. The insulation is not actually necessary – the Yule King would sleep anyway – but it ensures that he will be well-rested, putting him in a good mood and making his Yuletide foray much better for everyone. For example, there have been only two known instances of the Yule King killing anyone on his Yuletide foray since his servants started allowing his beard to grow out in 1351.

     The idea of Santa’s workshop probably comes from some confusion over the nature of his sleeping chamber. A very popular record says that the snowy peak on his mountain stays frozen throughout the year until the winter solstice approaches. When the light begins to fade from the sky, the snow there does the precise opposite of what you would expect: rather than staying frozen, it is melted by the growing dark.
(Some sources indicate that it is melted by a particular blend of starlight, created only when certain constellations are arranged above the mountain, which happens only at the solstice; regardless, the effect is the same.) 
       The melted water then runs down the mountain and is funneled into many carven flutes and passageways, which eventually end in the Yule King’s sleeping chamber..."

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