The Origin Of Santa Claus

BY ALYSSA LAIKOS

Santa Claus, also referred to as St. Nicholas, has been a Christmas figure for many generations. The legend of St. Nicholas can be traced back to a monk who lived around 280 A.D. in Patara, near modern-day Turkey. Through his years he became known for his kindness and piety.

“I always thought Santa was made up by parents, I had no idea he actually existed and has a backstory,” Brendan Merhar, 10.

Many of his legends tell that he gave everything he had in wealth and knowledge to the poor and sick while he traveled. As time went on St. Nicholas grew very popular, and was referred to as the protector of children and sailors. During Renaissance times St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in all of Europe, where he maintained his kind and helpful reputation.

“I never would have imagined that Santa would have such an interesting history,” said Taylor Blubaugh, 11.

When the legend of St. Nicholas first made its way to America, he was commonly known as Kris Kringle. His American known name came from another name of his, Christkind. Later, Dutch settlers in America took their older stories about St. Nicholas and Kris Kringle, and gave him the new name of ‘Sinterklaas’, now said as Santa Claus.

“I don’t care that much about Santa Claus, I only want a visit from Krampus this year,” said Dylan Bowers, 12.

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Santa enjoying his time on the beach.  Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.