Saint Nicholas Eve is not a common thing in the United States, but over in Europe, namely Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Poland and the UK it is one of their celebrated days (as quoted by Wikipedia).
In the United States our Santa Claus looks as he does because he became commercialized by Coca Cola, and we have grown to love him.
Yes, he has those rosy cheeks, and red nose, and belly that looks like a bowl full of jelly. That is the man we are use to seeing.
Here is a 1931 Coke ad
Haddon Sundblom, an illustrator for Coca Cola created the illustration above that started the Coke holiday advertising campaign in 1931. This was the start of him becoming the cultural icon that he is today. I am sure the only difference between Santa Claus today and in yesterday year is now they talk about him using GPS, and he can communicate directly to his reindeer and the elves if something should happen to him on his journey. Santa always survives year after to year. For all we know he has some help from the Men in Black.
Here is the Netherlands St, Nick
He is Sinterklaas or some refer to him as Thor, created by Odin, depending upon your information. He is part of the Avengers when is is now galvanting all over the world delivering toys. Maybe Iron Man and Captain America help him out when he is in a jam. He always has his trusted hammer. Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Hulk is on hand to assist and you can be sure he will be very angry if anyone gets in the way of their toy delivery for all the good little children.
Then there is the Swedish Christmas Gnome
I found him on a pin in Pinterest
Their proper names from Wikipedia is the tomte, nisse or tomtenisse (Sweden) (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈtɔ̀mːtɛ]), nisse (Norway and Denmark) (pronounced [ˈnìsːɛ]) or tonttu (Finland). The reason for so many names is because it is mystical. He is a shapeshifter. Sometimes it is said that he has one eye like a cyclops. He comes from underneath the floorboards and distributes the gifts on Christmas Eve after dinner. He rides a straw goat. A bowl of porridge was often set out for him, instead of our traditional cookies and hot cocoa. I wonder if his porridge was similar to my favorite Cream of Wheat?
I believe in Santa Claus.
A Year Without a Santa Claus 1974
My boyfriend would tell me, “You’re to old to believe in Santa Claus.”
I believe everyone should believe in Santa Claus. Why, you ask? Why Santa Claus is the spirit of giving. That does not mean you should go out and buy your child every toy and gadget they ask for. The United States Christmas is far to commercialized. It does not mean you have to go and shop and buy shiny new things to give away. Sometimes the most precious things are those that we make and those we pass along to others such as keepsakes. The holiday, like Thanksgiving, is about being together as a family.