Santa Claus

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Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved ("good" or "nice") children on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the early morning hours of Christmas Day (25 December).wikipedia
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Father Christmas

The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas (a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (himself also based on Saint Nicholas).
Although now known as a Christmas gift-bringer, and normally considered to be synonymous with American culture's Santa Claus which is now known worldwide, he was originally part of an unrelated and much older English folkloric tradition.

Christmas Eve

December 2424 DecemberEve of Nativity
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved ("good" or "nice") children on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the early morning hours of Christmas Day (25 December).
Legendary Christmas gift-bearing figures including Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind, and Saint Nicholas are also often said to depart for their annual journey to deliver presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve, although until the Protestant introduction of Christkind in 16th-century Europe, such figures were said to instead deliver presents on the eve of Saint Nicholas' feast day (6 December).

Sinterklaas

Saint NicholasSaint Nicholas DaySt Nicholas' Day
The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas (a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (himself also based on Saint Nicholas).
Sinterklaas is the primary source of the popular Christmas icon of Santa Claus.

Santa's workshop

Christmas grottoMagic CaveSanta's Grotto
He accomplishes this feat with the aid of his elves, who make the toys in his workshop at the North Pole, and his flying reindeer, who pull his sleigh.
Santa's workshop is the workshop where Santa Claus is said to make the toys and presents given out at Christmas.

Santa Claus's reindeer

reindeerBlitzenPrancer
He accomplishes this feat with the aid of his elves, who make the toys in his workshop at the North Pole, and his flying reindeer, who pull his sleigh.
In traditional festive legend, Santa Claus's reindeer pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve.

Christmas

Christmas DayDecember 25Nativity
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved ("good" or "nice") children on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the early morning hours of Christmas Day (25 December).
In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.

Thomas Nast

NastNast, ThomasTh. Nast
This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus (based on the traditional German figures of Sankt Nikolaus and Weihnachtsmann) and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party (GOP).

Christmas elf

elvesChristmas elveself
He accomplishes this feat with the aid of his elves, who make the toys in his workshop at the North Pole, and his flying reindeer, who pull his sleigh.
In American, Canadian, Irish, and British cultures, a Christmas elf is a diminutive elf that lives with Santa Claus at the North Pole and acts as his helper.

Demre

District of DemreKaleMira
The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas (a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (himself also based on Saint Nicholas).
Demre is the Lycian town of Myra, the home of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the historical man later developed into the figure of Santa Claus.

Mrs. Claus

his wifeMargaret ClausMrs. Santa Claus
In 1889, the poet Katharine Lee Bates popularized Mrs. Claus in the poem "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride".
Mrs. Claus (also known as Mrs Santa Claus) is the wife of Santa Claus, the Christmas gift-bringer in American and European Christmas tradition.

Père Noël

Santa Claus is known as de Kerstman in Dutch ("the Christmas man") and Père Noël ("Father Christmas") in French.
Père Noël, "Father Christmas", sometimes called Papa Noël ("Daddy Christmas"), is a legendary gift-bringer at Christmas in France and other French-speaking areas, identified with the Father Christmas and/or Santa Claus of English-speaking territories.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

The Night Before ChristmasTwas the Night Before ChristmasNight Before Christmas
This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
The poem has been called "arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American" and is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

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L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a 1902 children's book, further popularized Santa Claus.
Santa Claus, as a baby, is found in the Forest of Burzee by Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World (a supreme immortal), and placed in the care of the lioness Shiegra; but thereupon adopted by the Wood Nymph, Necile.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Yes, VirginiaVirginia O'Hanloneditorial
The editorial, which included the famous reply "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States and Canada.
In 1897, Dr. Philip O'Hanlon, a coroner's assistant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia O'Hanlon (1889–1971), whether Santa Claus really existed.

Old Santeclaus with Much Delight

It contained Old Santeclaus with Much Delight, an anonymous poem describing Santeclaus on a reindeer sleigh, bringing presents to children.
The accompanying illustrations are the earliest published artistic depictions of a Santa Claus figure.

Haddon Sundblom

hand-painted
Images of Santa Claus were further popularized through Haddon Sundblom's depiction of him for The Coca-Cola Company's Christmas advertising in the 1930s.
Haddon Hubbard "Sunny" Sundblom (June 22, 1899 – March 10, 1976) was an American artist of Finnish and Swedish descent and best known for the images of Santa Claus he created for The Coca-Cola Company.

L. Frank Baum

Frank BaumFrank L. BaumBaum
L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a 1902 children's book, further popularized Santa Claus.
Baum dressed as Santa Claus for the family.

Joulupukki

Father ChristmasSanta Claus
In Finland Santa Claus is called Joulupukki (direct translation 'Christmas Goat').
An old Scandinavian custom, the figure is now being eventually conflated with Santa Claus.

Charles W. Howard

In 1937, Charles W. Howard, who played Santa Claus in department stores and parades, established the Charles W. Howard Santa School, the oldest continuously-run such school in the world.
Charles Willis "Charlie" Howard (June 15, 1896 – May 1, 1966) was an American actor and teacher most famous for portraying Santa Claus in department stores and parades.

Ed Asner

Edward Asner
In the cartoon base, Santa has been voiced by several people, including Stan Francis, Mickey Rooney, Ed Asner, John Goodman, and Keith Wickham.
He played John Wayne's adversary Bart Jason in the 1966 Western El Dorado. He is also known for portraying Santa Claus in the comedy film Elf (2003) and its animated remake Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas (2014).

Miracle on 34th Street

1947 film19471947 film with the same name
Many feature films have featured Santa Claus as a protagonist, including Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and The Santa Clause.
The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, and focuses on the effect of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa.

Elf (film)

ElfBuddy the ElfElf'' (film)
Many feature films have featured Santa Claus as a protagonist, including Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and The Santa Clause.
At the North Pole, Papa Elf recounts how a baby boy crawled into Santa Claus's sack at an orphanage one Christmas Eve and was unwittingly transported back to the North Pole.

Harper's Weekly

HarperHarper’s WeeklyHarper's Illustrated
In 1863, a picture of Santa illustrated by Nast appeared in Harper's Weekly.
He also drew the legendary character of Santa Claus; his version became strongly associated with the figure, who was popularized as part of Christmas customs in the late nineteenth century.

White Rock Beverages

White RockWhite Rock Mineral Water
Historically, Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising—White Rock Beverages had already used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water in 1915 and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923.
Coca-Cola is frequently credited with the "invention" of the modern image of Santa Claus as an old man in red-and-white garments – however, White Rock predated Coca-Cola's usage of Santa in advertisements for soft drinks.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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Other modern additions to the "story" of Santa include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the 9th and lead reindeer immortalized in a Gene Autry song, written by a Montgomery Ward copywriter.
Mocked and excluded by his peers because of this trait, Rudolph proves himself one Christmas Eve with poor visibility due to inclement weather after Santa Claus catches sight of Rudolph's nose and asks Rudolph to lead his sleigh for the evening.