FAQ for Christmas

The History of Santa Clause/St. Nick


This is a portraiture of the real St. Nicholas (Santa Claus)

A long time ago, a bishop named Nicholas lived in what is now the country of Turkey. Not a lot is known about him, but there are stories that he often helped children who were in need.

Many years later, Nicholas was made a saint and he became the patron saint of children. Today, December 6 (d.o.d.), is an important holiday in some countries in Europe as well as some states in America. This day is called St. Nicks day (and in some places in the United States, it's called stocking day.) On the night before St. Nick's day, children put out their shoes or hang up stockings. Early next morning, they rush to see what gifts St. Nick gave them.

In cities throughout the world, St. Nick visits towns and cities, leads parades, talks to children, and often hands out small gifts and candy canes, wearing a red and white robe and a hat.

St. Nick has many helpers. In many countries where English is the main language, these helpers are called Santa's Elves.

In the Netherlands, this helper is called Black Peter.
In Germany, they are Knecht Ruprecht.
In many parts of France, the helpers are called, Pre Fouettard.
In Luxembourg, they are known as Hoesecker.

In days gone by, children loved St. Nick, but were afraid of his helpers. For it was told that is was the helpers who kept track of who had been naughty and who had been nice. Naughty children would get coal in their stockings and may even be carried away in the helper's bags until they learned to be good.

Currently, in America, if a child is naughty during the year, Santa may leave coal or a substance known as "snowman poop."

The poem that Santa includes with the snowman poop is: "You've been awfully bad, so here's the scoop. All you get in your stocking is snowman poop."

If a child gets coal or snowman poop in his stocking on St. Nick's day, they do have one more chance to behave. They must behave until Christmas Eve when if they have been good, Santa may return their real stocking with goodies inside.

St. Nick in other countries:

Author of the following section is unknown - Jaci Rae has modified and added to some of the information below to make it more complete.

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey.

Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick.

One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas's popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors.

His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of when he departed, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland.

"United States and Canada ~ Presents are brought by Santa Claus. He drives through the sky in a sleigh drawn by eight reindeer, the reindeer of course are lead by Rudolph. He slips down the chimney, leaves gifts and is on his way again. Santa Claus wears red clothes trimmed with white fur, and has a snow-white beard and mustache.

England ~ The gift bringer is called Father Christmas. He looks much like Santa Claus, but has a longer coat and a longer beard.

France ~ Santa is known as Pre Nol.

Brazil ~ Santa Claus is called Papa Nol.

Germany ~ Children get presents from Christkindl, the Christ child.

Costa Rica, Colombia, and parts of Mexico, ~ the gift bringer is el Nio Jesus, "the Infant Jesus."

Japan ~ Santa Kurohsu

Sweden ~ Gifts and goodies are brought by an elf called tomte. He's a Christmas gnome who has a sleigh that is pulled by goats.

Holland ~ Sinterklaas is what the Dutch call Saint Nicholas. He arrives in the city of Amsterdam by boat."

Christmas With Love Hosted and Written by (unless otherwise specified) Jaci Rae.
Copyright, Jaci Rae and North Shore Records, Inc.

"I long for the day when we are no longer defined by race, color, or class, but by a world that is undivided and unified by compassion, understanding and love." Jaci Rae

Learn to Save Money Shopping and Get Free Gifts at Shop For a Day with Jaci Rae

Find Out Everything About Christmas and Jaci Rae here!

Start a Christmas Tradition and go Christmas Caroling with your family! We have every Christmas Carol we could find. If you have more, please send the lyrics, name and the author of the song and we'll post it!

Free Christmas Gift Tags for your packages. Just print!
Free Christmas Gift Tags

When does your family decorate for Christmas? Many families around the world decorate after November 24th. However, some families decorate as early as November 1st, while still others wait until December 10th.

Holiday Stress got you down? Here are some stress buster ideas and how you can save money and your sanity at Christmas! Learn How to Have Fun and Have a Stress Free Holiday Season.

Listen to Jaci Rae's Christmas Music while you browse Christmas With Love.
Jaci Rae Christmas Music

Preview Jaci Rae's newest single Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Purchase Jaci's digital download CD single Somewhere Over the Rainbow for only $1.29!

Did we miss something? If you would like to submit something that is missing, please send Jaci Rae an email and if it's relevant to Christmas and Christmas History, trivia, games and the like, as soon as we can, it will be posted with a credit to you!