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The Legend of Santa Claus



    Santa Claus is a traditional, secular figure of Christmas good cheer who is the best known mascot of Christmas, developed in the United States as an amalgam of the story of St. Nicholas and various other seasonal folk heroes, with many aspects provided by the classic poem A Visit from St. Nicholas. The Santa Claus myth is based largely on the Dutch holiday of “ Sinterklaas” (a histily pronounced “St. Nicholas”, who comes down the chimney on the 5th/6th of December) and the imagery of the saint in question carried over to his north pole incarnation. (Note that in several countries in Europe, Sinterklaas and Santa Claus are considered two entirely different characters, each with their own elaborate holiday.)


    Santa Claus is traditionally depicted as a festively overweight old man with a beard, who wears a red suit with white trim and a matching cap, black boots and a black belt. He lives at the North Pole in a large workshop staffed by elves which produces toys year round, and every Christmas Eve he sets out  in a flying sleigh pulled by eight reindeer and delivers toys and other gifts to the children and children-at-heart of the world out of the improbably large sack he carries with him, entiring their houses by the chimney, filling the stockings, putting large gifts under the tree, partaking of whatever food and drink the family left out for him( traditionally cookies and milk), then leaving how he came in.