The term "Santa Claus" is an American distortion of the Dutch name "San Niccolaus", meaning "Saint Nicolas". He is known by many other names around the world, such as "Kris Kringle" in some places and "Father Christmas" in Great Britain. Saint Nick was a Catholic bishop in what is now modern Turkey during the days of the Roman Empire. He left gifts for poor people in his town and after he died the legend of St. Nick coming to homes in a chariot carrying presents for good people was born. The legend was spread along with Christianity and when that faith reached the Arctic St. Nick started riding a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. The legend spread around the globe and in the 20th century in America Coca-Cola provided the modern image of "Santa" as fat, jolly, rotund, with white hair and beard, wearing a red suit and black boots and of course, drinking a bottle of Coke. He is beloved by children all over.
Santa Claus is based on a real person, just like many "fairy tales" and myths that have existed throughout history.
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