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Santa Claus

Updated Dec 23, 2020
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Santa Claus
A recent photo of Santa.
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Santa Claus
Santa Claus, aka Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Sinterklaas, Père Noël, Babbo Natale, Pelznickel, Topo Gigio and many other names, provides joy and presents to children around the world on Christmas. It is believed that the legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born around 280 A.D. in Patara, Turkey. St. Nicholas had inherited wealth and gave away much (if not all) of his inheritance to the poor and suffering. There are numerous stories of the impact of his kindness, and over the years he earned a reputation of being a protector of children. He died on December 6th and each year on his death traditions held that it was a particularly lucky day to make large purchases or get married. Santa became popular in American traditions around the founding of the United States of America when a settlement of Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of St. Nicholas' death. By the early 1800s, and in particular by 1820, stores began to advertise Christmas shopping.
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