Every Christmas, millions of children look forward to getting presents from Santa Claus. But who is he? Today’s legend of Santa Claus is based on a real person who played an important role in early Christianity. He is called Saint Nicholas of Myra.
Nicholas was born in the city of Myra in Turkey. Not much is known about his life, but he is remembered for giving gifts. There is a story about an old man who had three daughters. The daughters needed to get married, but the father couldn’t afford to pay for the weddings.
After the second daughter, the poor father was determined to stay up and catch the person throwing in these sacks of gold so he could thank him. The father stayed awake each night until he saw Nicholas.
Nicholas was declared a saint and is remembered around the world. It became a tradition to give gifts on December 6 – especially in the Netherlands. They called this Sinterklaas, which is Dutch slang for Saint Nicholas.