Image via WikipediaThe jolly elf image of Santa Claus had received a big boost with the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," now better known as "The Night Before Christmas." was written in 1823.
Sure, Santa Claus, and Christmas Gifts are synonymous.
When St.Nicholas was brought by the first Europeans who arrived in the New World, he was regarded as a kindly Christian saint, good Bishop.
So when, St. Nicholas became a red-suited American symbol for merry holiday festivity?Before you know that please be aware of his difficult time during the 16th century Protestant Reformation which took a dim view of saints.
Even though both reformers and counter-reformers tried to stamp out St. Nicholas-related customs, they had very little long-term success, because the common people so loved St. Nicholas.
He survived on the European continent as people continued to place nuts, apples, and sweets in shoes left beside beds, on windowsills, or before the hearth.
Deriving from some of the legendary snippets such as St. Nicholas comes down chimneys to bring gifts, Washington Irving, first gave the modern day image of Santa Claus in his satirical fiction, Knickerbocker's History of New York, published in 1809.
When Nicholas was shown in a gift-giving role with children's treats in stockings hanging at a fireplace by artist Alexander Anderson, people loved it instantly and the rest is history.
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