A secretive gift-giver that provides treats and treasures to children in the night has many iterations around the globe. The variations range from a goat to an angelic creature, with the most well known being a jolly elf clad in red.
The American image of the ever-jolly present bearer with an effervescent personality, rotund body, red fur-trimmed suit, and sparkling eyes, first was originated from the artist, Thomas Nast in 1863, for Harper’s Weekly.
Nast’s Santa owed much of his features to the description given in the poem “’ Twas the Night Before Christmas”, first published in 1823.
Similar to the Jolly Ole Saint Nick, other gift-giving figures exist all over the globe.
Christkind or Christkindl is believed to deliver presents to well-behaved children. Christkind is a sprite-like child, usually depicted with blond hair and angelic wings.
Children never see Christkind in person, and parents tell them that Christkind will not come and bring presents if they are curious and try to spot her.
English legend explains that Father Christmas visits each home on Christmas Eve to fill children’s stockings with holiday treats.
Pere Noel is responsible for filling the shoes of French children with treats.
In Russia, Ded Moroz and Snegurochka – Grandfather Frost and Snow Maiden – bring presents to well-mannered children.
Ded Moroz is accompanied by Snegurochka, his granddaughter and helper.
Ded Moroz and Snegurochka wear long silver-blue robes and a furry cap and a snowflake-like crown.
There are numerous variations in the way our children’s holiday gifts arrive. And it is endearing to know that someone, somewhere is always there to shower them with love.