James Parker III

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FIRST-PERSON: The real Santa Claus is worth remembering

When thinking of Santa Clause, professor James Parker III prefers to envision the original St. Nicholas -- a bishop who tradition says was jailed and persecuted for his Christian faith, and once out of jail a staunch defender of orthodoxy.

FIRST-PERSON: Persecuted, jailed, passionate: That’s my kind of Santa Claus

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--In reflecting on this season of the year, I have often wondered how a Martian reporter would do a story on Christmas in the United States. If one only had the dominant cultural icons of TV, movies, news media and retail stores, my guess is that the Martian viewing audience wouldn't have a clue as to what Christmas was about.