Santa is making a list

And he’s making that list today, or so says the declared holiday of Santa’s List Day. Organizers of the holiday say today simply marks the deadline for the rough draft of the “Naughty and Nice” list, stressing that the list goes through multiple reviews all the way to Christmas Eve. So, there’s still time to make the Nice list.

The image of Santa

The popular image of Santa we have today — a portly, joyous, white-bearded man — came about in the 19th century in the United States and Canada. The image was influenced by the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Moore and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.

The real Santa Claus

Santa Claus actually is loosely based on a real person — St. Nicholas, who was born around the year 270. He was the bishop of Myra, a town in Turkey. He was known for his prolific gift giving and paying the dowries of impoverished girls. After his death, he was canonized as the patron saint of children.

New name, same ole Santa

The name Santa Claus has only been around for 200 years, though the story dates back much further. The name Santa Claus first appeared in a New York City newspaper in 1773.

Santa at the store

The first department store Santa was James Edgar in 1890. The Massachusetts businessman thought dressing up in a Santa costume would be a good marketing tool. Children came from all across the state to see him.

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