1 – Santa Claus was born in the town of Patara on the South West coast of Turkey between the years of 260 and 280AD. Technically, the republic of Turkey was not formed until 1923 so if you want to split hairs, Patara at that time was under the Lycian rule.
2 – The true name of Santa Claus was Nicholas and in adult life, he became the bishop of Myra which was a town further up the coast from Patara. It is now called Demre.
3 – When Nicholas’s parents died, they left him a lot of money and made him a wealthy man. He wanted to help people who were poor but he wanted to do it in secret so the agile bishop used to climb on the roofs of people’s houses and drop coins down the chimney. One day, a citizen caught him in the act and his good nature was revealed to the town.
4 – Upon his death, a memorial was erected in the town but it would be a number of years before he gained the holiest of titles and that was as Saint Nicholas. He also became the patron saint of sailors but more specifically of children as he was remembered for giving them nuts, fruit and sweets for good behaviour. Bribery was alive and kicking even back then.
5 – December the 6th become associated with the feast of St Nicholas and in later years, a bishop declared December the 25th as the birth of Jesus. Over time, the two celebrations began to fuse together and that was the first connection between Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas and Christmas day traditions.
6 –In the late 1800’s drawings appeared of St Nicholas aka Santa Claus with a beard, pipe and a large belly. The transformation of a humble saint called Nicholas to a fat, jolly man who feasts on mince pies and gets stuck in chimneys had begun. (God knows how the North pole, loyal elves and flying reindeer came about)