He’s known round the world as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, 'Père Nöel'; 'Christ Kind'. and 'Kris Kringle' but whatever you call him Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without him.
The man behind the story of Father Christmas was actually a 4th century Turkish bishop who was a very rich and very kind. He had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it, sometimes dropping them down chimneys or hiding them in people's socks.
Many countries, especially ones in Europe, celebrate St. Nicholas' Day on 6 December. In Holland and some other European Countries, children leave clogs or shoes out on the 5 December (St. Nicholas' Eve) to be filled with gifts. They also believe that if they leave some hay and carrots in their shoes for Sinterklaas's horse, they will be left some sweets.
St. Nicholas became popular again in the Victorian era when writers, poets and artists rediscovered the old stories. The famous poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' or 'T'was the Night before Christmas' describes St. Nicholas with eight reindeer and gives them their names.
Some people say that Santa lives at the North Pole or Lapland. But everyone agrees that he travels through the sky on a sledge that is pulled by reindeer, that he comes into houses down the chimney at night and places presents for the children in socks or bags by their beds, in front of the family Christmas tree, or by the fire place.
However old you are, you’re never too old to get a stocking from old Nick!