Welcome to The History of Santa Claus and Father Christmas. This website offers a guide to resources available online which deal with the origins, evolution and lore of Santa Claus and Father Christmas. The main part of this guide consists of links to other sites, with some commentary describing the contents and quality of these sites. However, you will also find here a brief overview of each stage in the evolution of Santa Claus and extracts from the work of professional historians, folklorists and critics on this topic.
This site is divided into the following sections. The first is St Nicholas: The Real Santa Claus, which provides resources on the ecclesiatical bishop St Nicholas of Myra, whom most commentators consider to be the 'original' of Santa Claus. The second is The Evolution of St Nicholas. This is concerned with the medieval and modern European evolution of St Nicholas's cult, most especially the Dutch winter-visitor Sinterklaas. The third is America and the Creation of Santa Claus, which provides resources on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century creation of Santa Claus out of these preceding traditions. The fourth is The English Father Christmas, which gives details of this Christmas-visitor who seems to have had a separate origin to St Nicholas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus. Finally, The Historians and Santa Claus includes relevant extracts from the printed work of historians, folklorists and critics on the origins of Santa.
* * * * *Copyright © 2004, 2014 Caitlin R. Green. All Rights Reserved. To cite articles or pages from this website, use a service such as WebCite or alternatively see one of the following style citation guides. The total number of visits to The History of Santa Claus and Father Christmas stands at around 400,000 as of July 2014. Comments and queries can be sent via email to Caitlin R. Green