Some Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Santa  

GTR Media group photo
SANTA’S WELCOME: Santa welcomes visitors to Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

Contributing Editor 
There are two endearing symbols of Christmas. One is a huge star shining brightly on a humble manger to announce the arrival of Jesus Christ, the most important baby ever born in the history of mankind to Christians. 
The other is a fuzzy-faced fellow who symbolizes and expression of love that is a hallmark of the holiday season. 
One of the most recognizable individuals in the world, Santa Claus along with his eight reindeer, devote their Christmas Eve hours to delivering presents to good children around the world every year.
Just about everybody knows this jolly gentleman is married to Mrs. Claus, but some people may have a few questions, like is he a real person? Just how old is he? And when is his birthday? 
For the answers to these questions and more, put out some milk and cookies, turn on your favorite Christmas tunes, and get ready to learn a few things you maybe didn’t know. 

How old is Santa? 
According to the blog Email Santa, the North Pole resident is 1,750 years old as of 2021. In fact, the origins of Santa Claus can be traced all the way back to a monk named Saint Nicholas, who was born between 260 and 280 A. D. in the village of Patara, which is part of modern-day Turkey. 
Long before he became Santa Claus, there were many legends around Saint Nicholas performing acts of kindness for needy kids. Another legend involves him praying for sailors who were being threatened by a powerful storm and ensuring their safe return. Because of these and other fabled deeds, he became known as a protector of children and sailors. That’s why people around the world continue to honor him with the Feast of Saint Nicholas on Dec. 6. 

What does Santa look like? 
Don’t be too quick to reply, because the answer to this question depends on where it is being asked. Since Santa is a worldwide figure, his physical appearance varies by geographic location. The one we know and love in this country was created in 1931 when Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint Santa for its Christmas advertisements. Those paintings established him as a warm, happy character with human features, including rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes and laughter lines. 

When is Santa’s birthday? says Santa’s birthday is on March 15. How exactly they know that is a question yet to be answered. But just to be safe, it might be a good idea to mark it on your calendar for next year. 

How did Santa Claus get his name? 
According to TIME, the legend of Saint Nicholas continued to be passed around throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the Netherlands, St. Nicholas Day was observed by someone dressing up as the saint and going door-to-door giving children small gifts. In other areas he is recognized as Father Christmas. 
How the legend of Saint Nicholas made its way to North America remains a bit of a mystery. In the 1770s, one New York newspaper referenced “St. Nicholas, otherwise called Santa Claus,” which is the first known reference to Santa Claus in the United States. 
The author of Christmas: A Biography, Judith Flanders, said the large populations of Swiss people who settled in New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are probably the reason we know Santa Claus by that name today. “They came from regions that marked St. Nicholas’ Day, and St. Nicholas in various dialects of Schweizer Deutsch, or Swiss-German, which referred either to Semichas or Santi-Chlaus.” And of course, it’s easy to see how “Santi-Chlaus” might have evolved into “Santa Claus” over time. 

How old is Mrs. Claus? 
According to Email Santa, Mrs. Claus is just a bit younger than her husband. She’s 1,139 years old. And don’t forget to wish her a happy birthday after you’ve opened your gifts this year. Her birthday is on Christmas Day, the same as Lord Jesus, according to the website. 

What is the Economic impact of Christmas? 
Our economy depends on Christmas spending because it boosts production, creates jobs and increases the nation’s Gross Domestic Production. And we are not alone there. Christmas is typically the largest economic stimulus for many nations around the world at a record breaking $1.002 trillion. Economists note this is an upward trend has been gaining momentum for years. In 2014, the overall figure was $842.37 billion, meaning that Christmas spending increased by $160 billion in just seven years. 
Pretty good for a jolly old gentleman who is fed tons of cookies and gallons of milk every Christmas Eve.