Santa Clause

  • 300

    Bishop of Myra

    Bishop of Myra
    Nicholas was of in , the city now known as , Turkey. Living his whole life centered on Jesus Christ, Nicholas worked for justice and cared for those in need.
  • 325

    Bishop Nicholas

    Bishop Nicholas
    Bishop Nicholas, defender of the faith, forcefully argued for the doctrine of the Holy Trinity at the Council of Nicaea. The council's statement forms part of the , still said in churches today.
  • 343

    Death of Nicholas

    Death of Nicholas
    Bishop Nicholas died on December 6, 343 AD, and was buried in the cathedral in Myra, now Demre, Turkey. Many came to his tomb.
  • 400


    Since the fifth century the Eastern Church has revered St. Nicholas for the many miracles attributed to him and for his inspiring witness as a follower of Jesus Christ.
  • Dec 25, 600

    The Saxons

    The Saxons which invaded and settled Britain had the custom of giving human characteristics to the weather elements, welcoming the characters of King Frost, Lord Snow etc. to their homes in the hopes that the elements would look kindly on them. They would dress an actor in a pointed cap and cloak or cape, and drape him with Ivy, bringing him into their midst, and bidding him join their feast. He was to represent the Season, and would be treated with all respect, and drink toasts to him.
  • Dec 25, 1087

    Saint in Bari

    Saint in Bari
    Italian sailors took the bones of St. Nicholas to , Italy. This "translation of the " is commemorated in Bari with a fantastic festival each year on May 9th.
  • Dec 25, 1100


    French began giving candy and gifts to needy children on December 6th, St. Nicholas . Children still eagerly await his treats in French and and in many other parts of Europe.
  • Dec 25, 1119

    Life of St. Nicholas

    Life of St. Nicholas written by a Norman monk named Jean.
  • Dec 25, 1120

    Nuns in Belgium

    Nuns in Belgium and France were giving gifts to the children of the poor, and those in their care, on the Saints Feast Day, 6th December.
  • Dec 25, 1150

    Winchester Cathedral

    Winchester Cathedral
    Scenes from the life of St. Nicholas decorate this black marble baptismal font which was made in Belgium. St. Nicholas has been a favorite subject for church ornamentation.
  • Dec 25, 1200

    13th Century Token

    13th Century Token
    All over Europe boys were selected to be the "" from December 6th through the Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28th). Boy bishops and their retinues collected alms for the poor, but sometimes turned into disruptive roving gangs.
  • Dec 25, 1410

    Saint Nicholas Rescues a Ship at Sea

    Saint Nicholas Rescues a Ship at Sea
    Nicholas was a popular subject for illuminated manuscripts; this one is from the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duke of Berry.
  • Dec 25, 1560

    St. Nicholas

    St. Nicholas
    Stunning dedicated to St. Nicholas, the much beloved patron, "Father of the Country, Leader and Defender of Lorraine."
  • Sint-Nicolaaskerk

    This silver is in the beautiful St. Nicholas Church in Belgium.
  • St. Nicholas

    St. Nicholas
    Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York describes St. Nicholas as an elfin Dutch burgher, not a saint, thus beginning the emergence of a dinstinctive American figure.
  • A Visit from Saint Nicholas or 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

    A Visit from Saint Nicholas or 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
    First publication of the poem that became an American classic—and formed lasting images of an American St. Nicholas.
  • The Netherlands

    The Netherlands
    A new picture book by Jan Schenkman shaped modern Dutch customs by establishing Sint Nicolaas arrival on a steamboat from Spain with a Moorish assistant. Crowds still enthusiastically greet their arrival each year in mid-November.
  • Draws Santa

    Draws Santa
    Harper's Weekly features Nast's Santas with flowing beards, rotund shapes, fur suits, and clay pipes.
  • St. Nicholas Magazine

    St. Nicholas Magazine
    The first issue of St. Nicholas: Scribner's Illustrated Magazine for Girls and Boys was published. Editor Mary Mapes Dodge named the magazine for the children's saint—the epitome of loving and giving. This new magazine offered gifts to children as he did—gifts of fun as well as learning.
  • European Gift Giver

    European Gift Giver
    St. Nicholas leaves tasty treats for good little boys and girls.
  • St. Nicholas Magazine

    St. Nicholas Magazine
    This enormously popular magazine named for children's patron, St. Nicholas, was published from 1873 until 1940. It featured high quality children's authors and illustrators.
  • Dutch Moral Teacher

    Dutch Moral Teacher
    St. Nicholas visits homes and schools to reward good children who have learned their lessons well.
  • Coca-Cola Santa

    Coca-Cola Santa
    Each year from 1931 to 1964 created a new Santa for Coca-Cola's "thirst knows no season" campaign. His life-size Santas in white fur-trimmed red suits are now the American Santa Claus. Here is the first one.
  • Still Gift Giver in Europe

    Still Gift Giver in Europe
    St. Nicholas' donkey helps bring treats to excited and happy children.
  • European Advertising

    European Advertising
    St. Nicholas now rewards all children-whether naughty or nice. Even Coca-Cola once knew the true St. Nicholas.
  • St. Nicholas Defense

    St. Nicholas Defense
    Action committees in the Netherlands tell Santa Claus to stay away until after St. Nicholas Day, December 6th.
  • Canterbury, England

    Canterbury, England
    Good Bishop Nicholas rides through the town leading happy crowds to the heart of Christmas—the manger where Jesus was born.
  • Russia

    Following his baptism in , Grand Prince brought Christianity and St. Nicholas to Russia. St. Nicholas is Russia's favorite .
  • The Vikings

    The Vikings brought with them their beliefs in the Northern deities and Elementals, and their main god Odin, who in the guise of his December character came to earth dressed in a hooded cloak, to sit and listen to his people and see if they are contented or not. It was said that he carried a satchel full of bounty which he distributed to the needy or worthy. He was portrayed as a Sage with long white beard and hair
  • St. Nicholas

    First written life of St. Nicholas listing all his miracles, by Methodius, Bishop of Constantinople.
  • The Clergy of Cologne Cathedral

    The Clergy of Cologne Cathedral were commemorating the death of the saint by giving fruit and cookies to the boys of the cathedral school, on the 6th December.