Santa claus

  • 270

    Birth of Nicholas of Myra

    Nicholas of Myra is born. He is the only son of wealthy Christian parents, Epiphanus and Johanna. From an early age he devotes his life to worship and study of Christianity.
  • 300

    Nicholas' reputation grows

    Nicholas gains a reputation as a man of great generosity and zeal. He becomes known for his secret acts of generosity, one story tells of Nicholas providing dowry to a poor man, to prevent his daughters being forced into a life of servitude and prostitution.
    Other stories tell us of Nicholas putting coins in shoes that were left outside his door.
  • 325

    Council of Nicaea

    Some stories place Nicholas at the Council of Nicaea, an early attempt by the Faithul to form consensus on a doctrine of faith. The concept of the holy trinity was developed at this meeting, as well as the foundations of the niceene creed, a statement of common belief taken by devout christians still practiced to this day.
  • 346

    Death of Nicholas

    Bishop Nicholas died on December 6, 343 AD, and was buried in the cathedral in Myra, now Demre, Turkey. Many pilgrims came to his tomb.
    It is likley that Nicholas began to be revered as a Saint around this time, since the current processes of beatification and cannonisation did not exist for several hundrered years, it was common for The Devout to be elevated to sainthood by way of reputation.
  • Dec 16, 1087

    Saint in Bari

    Italian sailors took the bones of St. Nicholas to Bari, Italy.The date of the arrival of the saint became a church holiday, paving the way for the modern holiday season.
  • Dec 16, 1150

    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. Scenes such as this may have insprerd early depictions of the modern figure
  • Period: to

    The origins of a modern Christmas

    During the reformation of the church (an attempt to root out systematic corruption in the hierachy of the catholic church, resulting in the formation of the protestant church) the identity of the "gift bringer", celebrated in early december was changed to Christ Child or ChristKindl. Corruption of this word in the English language gives us the Name Chris Kringle, often seen now as a psudonym for Santa
    The date of the Celebration was also changed at this time, from 6th December to 25th December.
  • Period: to

    The origins of Father Christmas

    Father Christmas is first depicted as a Jolly old man, resitant to those who would do away with the anicent tradition of merryment in celebration at the Birth of Christ (as opposed to more solemn ceremony)
  • Sint-Nicolaaskerk

    This silver reliquary is in the beautiful St. Nicholas Church in Sint-Niklaas, Flanders, Belgium. Reliquaries such as this doubtless allowed the legend of saint nicholas to inspire design of the later figures
  • Period: to

    Dutch traditions are revived in America

    Stories suggest that, During the American War of Independance, Traditions of celebrating the feast of St Nicholas were revived, Possibly because they were of Non British origin. This laid the foundation for the construction of a uniquley American Idea of Christmas, which would later spread to different parts of the world
  • Washington Irving's 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

    First publication of the poem that became an American classic—and formed lasting images of an American St. Nicholas, building on the founddations laid in the reintroduction of the dutch tradition
  • 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.
  • Ho Ho Ho

    Ho ho ho represents an attempt to write the deep belly-laugh of Santa Claus, as opposed to the conventional, higher-pitched ha ha that represents the laughter of thinner characters, or the snickering, cynical bwa ha ha! associated with the villains of melodrama. Jacob Grimm asserts that "Ho ho ho" was the hunting cry of Odin during The Furious Host. Odin being attributal to Santa Claus.
    "H0H 0H0" is a postal code used by Canada Post for routing letters sent in Canada to Santa Claus at the Nort
  • The Night Before Christmas

    Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen are the most commonly cited names of Santa's eight reindeer. that went on to become embedded in in pop culture as sants trusty reindeers.
  • Period: to

    Santa's Sleigh

    Some time around this period, Santa was Depicted with a sleigh. This is likley a futher result of the Americanisation of the figure, as at this time Sleighs were a common method of transport in a frigid Manhattan
  • Thomas Nast draws Santa

    Harper's Weekly features Nast's Santas with flowing beards, rotund shapes, fur suits, and clay pipes. This begins the transition of a ninteenth century Santa into a figure we recognise today. It is the start of the combination of The Dutch Sinterklaas tradition with the English Father Christmas, The coming together of the legend of Nicholas of Myra, The anicent Viking God Odin, and the English Father Christmas
    A comment from Thomas Nast is also the likley origin of Santa's home in the arctic
  • Department Store Santa

    Santa Claus appears in the weeks before Christmas in department stores or shopping malls, or at parties. The practice of this has been credited to James Edgar, as he started doing this in 1890 in his Massachusetts department store. He is played by an actor, usually helped by other actors, dressed as elves or other creatures of folklore associated with Santa. Santa's function is either to promote the store's image by distributing small gifts to children, or to or to provide a seasonal experience
  • Letter Writing

    Writing letters to Santa Claus has been a Christmas tradition for children for many years. These letters normally contain a wishlist of toys and assertions of good behavior. the kids under the impressions that good behaviour grants more gifts on christmas day
  • Coca-Cola Santa

    Each year from 1931 to 1964 Haddon Sundblom 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.
  • Santa and Coke-Cola

    Most people can agree on what Santa Claus looks like -- jolly, with a red suit and a white beard. But he did not always look that way, and Coca-Cola advertising actually helped shape this modern-day image of Santa. Before the 1931 introduction of the Coca-Cola Santa Claus Santa ranged from big to small and fat to tall. Santa even appeared as an elf and looked a bit spooky.
  • Rudolph

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created for Montgomery Ward in 1939, and has since entered the public consciousness as Santa's ninth reindeer, This gave birth to all sorts of other media including the well known song Redulph the red nosed reindeer
  • Still Gift Giver in Europe

    St. Nicholas' donkey helps bring treats to excited and happy children.
  • British Santa

    Department Stores in Britain increased the thrill of their Santa Grotto with train rides, sleigh rides, trip to the moon and elaborate animated scenes.
  • Period: to

    Hollywood takes on Santa

    During this time period, The growth of Hollywood provided new oppertunites for Santa to grow in popularity. Films such as "miracle on 34th street" and "the santa claus" have helped fix the idea of a modern Santa Claus in the minds of childern for generations
  • Christmas time rituals

    In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies; in Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry and mince pies instead. In Sweden, children leave rice porridge. In Ireland it is popular to give him Guinness or milk, along with cookies or mince pies.
    In the Netherlands, Children leave their shoes around the fire, and find gifts surronding them the next morning, mimicing the gernerous acts of Saint Nicholas
  • Manager Claus

    By the end of the 20th century, the reality of mass mechanized production became more fully accepted by the Western public. That shift was reflected in the modern depiction of Santa's residence—now often humorously portrayed as a fully mechanized production and distribution facility, equipped with the latest manufacturing technology, and overseen by the elves with Santa and Mrs. Claus as executives and/or managers
  • Canterbury, England

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

    Following his baptism in Constantinople, Grand Prince Vladimir I brought Christianity and St. Nicholas to Russia. St. Nicholas is Russia's favorite saint. The spread of the legend of Nicholas of Mayr begins to make his name and story a regonised one throughout the civilised world, ensuring the deeds of Saint Nicholas are not forgotten in the centuries to come.
  • Literature of St Nicolaus

    First written life of St. Nicholas listing all his miracles, by Methodius, Bishop of Constantinople. This provided a record of the deeds of the saint, which would later provide the ideas upon which the modern figure is based, such as secret gift giving.
  • The Viking belief system is introduced to Europe

    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 Odin is believed to be the origin figure for the English "Father Christmas"