Who Is Santa, Anyway
Although his appearance has changed often throughout the ages, did you know that there was actually a real person from which the legend of Santa was born? He lived in the 4th century A.D, and was known as Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna, which was in present day Turkey. He was born to a very wealthy family, but his parents died from the Plague when he was very young. He then grew up in a monostery where he later became a Priest at the tender age of seventeen. He became known as a kind, extremely generous lover of children. Legend has it that he would drop bags of gold down chimneys or that he would throw bags of goodies through open windows, where they would sometimes land in stockings which were hanging above the fireplace to dry. He later became a Bishop, which is probably where one of our present day conceptions of Santa with his hat, red flowing robes, and white beard got its roots. After his death, the Catholic Church elevated him to Sainthood. He is the patron Saint of children and seafarers. and his name day is December 6th.
With the Reformation came the new Protestants and their desire to distance themselves from the Catholic Church as much as possible. Different countries and regions then began to develop their own unique concept of the gift-giver, but each one can still trace its origins back to the original St. Nicholas.