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Santa's Bucket List

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named Saint Nicholas. He was born around 280 AD in middle eastern Turkey. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. It said he saved three sisters from being sold into slavery by their father by providing them with a dowry so they could be married.

His popularity spread, and he became known far and wide as the protector of children. A holiday feast day was soon celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. It was considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married.

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Saint Nicholas made his first inroads into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century. In December 1773 and again in 1774, the New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick's Dutch nickname, Sinterklaas, a shortened form of Sint Nicolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas).

"And what do you want for Christmas?"

Stores began advertising for Christmas around 1820, and by the 1840s, newspapers were filled with holiday advertisements that often featured, you know who - Santa Claus. It was only a matter of time before stores began to attract children and their parents with a real Santa Claus to whisper wishes to. In the early 1890s, the Salvation Army began dressing up unemployed men in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to collect donations. Salvation Army Santas have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since.

Today children line up and wait hours to sit on Santa‘s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Santa sits patiently, tirelessly, asking repeatedly, "And what do you want for Christmas?"

Why do we never think about giving a gift to Santa?

But what about Santa? What does he want for Christmas? Why do we never think about giving a gift to Santa? In true holiday spirit, we here at 573 Magazine asked Santa for his bucket list.

Wish #1 - Buy a Corvette. Drop the top, crank up some Lynyrd Skynyrd, and hit the road. No maps. No plans. Just drive until I’m sick of it.

Wish #9 - Quit my job and move to Santa Fe to paint, let my hair grow, and go barefoot for an entire year.

Wish #16 - Circumnavigate the globe in a small one-person sailboat—no motor or radio.

Wish #23 - Get a tattoo—something simple without meaning.

Wish #27 - Bicycle through the Andes.

Wish #35 - Learn to scuba dive.

Wish #38 - Go deer hunting with my buddies. Bag a ten-pointer. Have venison this year instead of turkey.

Wish #40 - Spend the winter in the south, sipping fruity cocktails and sitting in hot tubs.

Wish #43 - Travel to Egypt and scale a pyramid and ride a camel.

Wish #49 - Get a Harley. My buddies and I form a bike gang. We get matching jackets with the crazed Santas embroidered on the back. We just be acting tough!

Wish #50 - Learn to hang glide.

Wish #55 - Go to Pamplona and run with the bulls.

Wish #56 - Become a drummer in a rock band. Change my name to Sanzy


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