The legend of jolly old Santa Claus, or St. Nick, began with a real person: St. Although he is one of the most popular saints honored by Christians, very little is actually known about him. He lived during the 4th century in Lycia, a province on the southwest coast of Asia Minor. Tradition says he was born in Patara, a seaport, and traveled to Egypt and Palestine as a young man.
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Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century, when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the patron saint of children. Find out more about the history of Santa Claus from his earliest origins to the shopping mall Santas of today, and discover how two New Yorkers—Clement Clark Moore and Thomas Nast—were major influences on the Santa Claus millions of children wait for each Christmas Eve. The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around A.