Do You Know The Real Story Of Santa Claus?

It’s almost Christmas and that means families across the country will be expecting a visit from Santa Claus, but do you know the real story behind the jolly man in red and his eight tiny reindeer?

The real story of the modern-day Santa Claus began years ago in a faraway land and has grown over the years as his myth has taken hold in popular culture.

Known as Santa, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or Father Christmas, the notion of a fat and jolly man carrying a sack while wearing a red suit and delivering presents to good girls and boys didn’t always exist.

The legend of the modern-day Santa Claus started near a town called Myra in what is now Turkey back in 280 A.D. when a deeply pious bishop known as St. Nicholas traveled the countryside giving his wealth to the poor and sick.

The original St. Nick lived hundreds of years ago.

He even saved three sisters from slavery by giving them a dowry so they could get married, according to A&E’s History. The legend of St. Nicholas grew as he continued his many works of charity and soon he became known as a protector of children who would leave gifts throughout the year to brighten their spirits.

St. Nicholas’s many miracles earned him the name Wonderworker, and he became known as the patron saint of sailors, merchants, repentant thieves, children, and students.

His birthday, Dec.6, was designated a feast day by the church and soon became a lucky day to make large purchases or get married.

Dutch migrants brought the legend of St. Nicholas to America and in the early 18-century pictures and stories of the man in red began to spread. Now known as Sinter Klaas, he became the subject of folklore when Washington Irving wrote A History Of New York in 1809.

The legend of St. Nick combined with similar gift giving figures from around the world in the melting pot of New York City.