Santa Claus

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Santa Claus, or Santa, is a figure in North American culture with legendary, mythological and folkloric aspects, which reflect an amalgamation of the Dutch Sinterklaas, the English Father Christmas, and Christmas gift-bringers in other traditions. Santa Claus is said to bring gifts to the homes of good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24. Santa Claus in this contemporary understanding echoes aspects of hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift-giver Saint Nicholas, the man from whom the name of Santa Claus derives and in whose honor Santa Claus may be referred to as Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick.

Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast., Jim Auchmutey, Rocky Mountain News, December 10, 2007. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children's books and films. The North American depiction of Santa Claus as it developed in the 19th and 20th century in turn influenced the...
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