The true story of Santa Claus and 10 famous Christmas Symbols

The true history of Santa Claus

History and Origin of Santa Claus

Christmas is an event of happiness and joy. What makes it so special is gifts sharing and partying with family and friends. For children, the most amazing thing is gifts presented by Santa Claus. Every child is always curious to know who Santa Claus is, If Santa Claus is real and where does it come from. So yes, Santa Claus is real and was always famous for helping others and presenting gifts at their doorsteps secretly. Let’s know more about Santa Claus

Santa Claus story dates back to St. Nicholas, a bishop at around 280 A.D in Patara (Near Myra; Modern Day Turkey). St. Nicholas was very kind and generous and spent all his wealth for the welfare of poor and needy people. Among his different famous legends, one is about to save three sisters from selling for prostitution. He secretly provided them dowry by placing outside their door for their marriage. As time passed, he became famous for helping and protecting children and sailors.

The name Santa Claus came from his Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas. His name started to popularized in New York in 1809 when a short story writer Washington Irving started to refer him as “patron saint” in his book “The History of New York”. His name was already remembered as a patron saint in different cultures by giving secret gifts to children and other needy people.

The modern-day image of Santa Claus is a gentleman having a certain age with a white beard and dressed in red and white suit with a matching hat. This popular image came from a highly successful marketing campaign of Coca Cola in 1930. This image was so popularized in American Culture that it is continued to be used to date.

True history of Santa Claus

10 Famous Christmas Symbols

Following are ten (10) famous Christmas symbols

  1. The Mistletoe
  2. Poinsettia
  3. Holly
  4. Candy Cane
  5. Reindeer
  6. Santa Claus
  7. Elf
  8. Christmas Star
  9. Christmas Tree
  10. Snowman

The Mistletoe

  • It is a plant
  • Believed to have mystical powers of good luck and pushes away evil things
  • Tradition to hang it in homes from ancient times
  • Symbol of Love & Friendship from The Mistletoe
  • Kissing under Mistletoe at Christmas is a tradition
  • This custom referred back to England in late 18th Centaury


  • It’s a plant from Mexican Countryside
  • Indians relate it with purity
  • Red leaves represent Blood of Jesus and White leaves represent Jesus Purity
  • Poinsettia plants association with Christmas came from a Mexican legend where a poor girl had nothing but weeds to offer to Jesus. Her present of weeds suddenly burst into bright red flowers and it was called a miracle who viewed. These flowers then called as “Flowers of the Holy Night”.


  • Green Plant with red berries
  • Anciently, holly leaves were hung out at doors and windows to repel evil things
  • Holly is also thought to have magical power of fertility and eternal life
  • Holly is associated with “Saturn” by Romans. Saturn is God of agriculture and harvest
  • Holly is symbolized as luck and protection for men

Candy Cane

  • Candy Cane have no documented history
  • Candy Cane is J shaped. J represent Jesus
  • It is Red and White Colored. White represents Jesus Purity and red represents his blood
  • History dates back to 1670, Germany
  • Candy Cane got its peppermint flavor in USA


  • Santa Claus Reindeer are drawn from 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
  • Santa has to visit from far north so he uses reindeer
  • There are eight (8) reindeer naming Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen
  • Every reindeer possesses different unique characteristics. Dasher loves to go fast. Dancer is completely extroverted. Prancer is vain but affectionate. Vixen is tricky. Comet is handsome and easy going. Cupid is affectionate. Donner is loud. Blitzen is fast like bolt.

Santa Claus

  • Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, a bishop in the 4th century
  • He was famous for his kindness and help for poor
  • He was famous to secretly help in the shape of gifts present at doorsteps of needy people
  • Santa Claus was his Dutch nickname “Sinter Klaas”
  • Current Santa Claus image was popularized by highly successful Coca Cola advertisement in 1930

Christmas Elf

  • Elf lives with Santa Claus as his helper
  • Elf takes care of Santa reindeer and toys in Santa workshop
  • They also guard Santa Village that is a secret location
  • The idea of Christmas elf appeared first in literature in 1850
  • Elf also track children activities and report back to Santa about naughty and nice children separately

Christmas Star

  • Christmas star is associated with the birth of Jesus
  • A highly bright star appears in the sky on the night of Jesus Birth to guide shepherds towards Jesus birthplace
  • It symbolized high hope, high ideals, and good fortune
  • Christmas star is part of every theme and decoration at Christmas

Christmas Tree

  • Fir tree has been used by Pagan & Christians from thousands of years for winter celebrations and to welcome spring
  • Pine and Fir are most used Christmas tree
  • It is considered a sign of everlasting life with God in Christianity
  • Christmas tree tradition started in Germany
  • All 50 USA states grow Christmas tree
  • Evergreen tree were also used in ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Hebrews as a symbol of eternal life


  • Origin of Snowman is not known unfortunately


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