Christmas Stories


Santa the Magical Person

Christmas is a very special time for many children -- the day presents are left by a magical person.

  • In the United States and Canada, his name is Santa Claus. He flies through the sky in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer.

  • In England his name is Father Christmas. He looks much like Santa Claus, but he has a longer coat and a longer beard.

  • In Wales (a principality in the United Kingdom), Santa is called Sion Corn - this translates as "Chimney John" relating to the story that Santa comes down the chimney of each house to bring his gifts to the children within.

  • In France, he's known as Pere Noel. He is also called Pere Noel in Canada.

  • In Brazil and Peru, he's called Papai Noel.

  • In Germany, children get presents from Christkind, the Christ Child on the 24th of December. Also, in Germany Knecht Ruprecht and his helpers come on the 6th of December. Krampus brings coal or a wooden stick to the children that have not been good, Knecht Ruprecht brings mostly cookies, nuts and a small toy to the good children. Belsnickel - German version of Santa who carries a switch to beat the bad children. In Germany, Father Christmas can also be called der Weihnachtsmann.

  • In Poland, Santa "Swiety Mikolaj" (Saint Nicholas) was a cardinal in the Catholic Church, he visits children on December 6th and he brings presents, mostly sweets, which he leaves in children's clean shoes.

  • In some Slovac countries, Santa is "Swiety Mikolaj" ("star man") -- for the North Star. He visits children on Christmas Eve, bringing presents. The Christmas Eve meal begins once the first star is seen.

  • In Costa Rica, Colombia, and parts of Mexico, the gift bringer is El Nino Jesus, "the infant Jesus."

  • In Puerto Rico, children receive gifts from the Three Kings on January 6th. Each child puts grass under their bed for the camels and in the morning the grass is replaced with gifts.

  • Jultomten or Tomten in Sweden. Jultomten visits in the evening before Christmas day, pulling a big bag of julklappar (Christmas presents) in the deep snow.

  • På norsk (in Norwegian) "Julenissen" arrives on the evening of the 24th.

  • In the Netherlands, he is called Kerstman. He flies through the sky with his reindeers and puts gifts under the Christmas tree on the 25th of December. De Kerstman lives in Finland. His counterpart "Sinterklaas" is another saint, who is celebrated on the 5th of December. Sinterklaas comes back every year from his home in Spain by steamboat, together with him are a whole group of "zwarte pieten" who help him while he's riding on the roofs - distributing gifts through the chimney.

  • In Finland, he is called Joulupukki and his home is in Lapland in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturl. Also in Finland, the Swedish-speaking Finns (finlandssvenskar) call him Julgubben.

  • In Spain the children the night of January 5th put their shoes under the Christmas tree and have presents from the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar). Santa Claus is called Papa Noel and there are children who have presents both days on December 25th (from Papa Noel) and on January 6th (from the Three Kings).

  • In Russia, he is called Grandfather Frost or Ded Moroz. Also, there is Babooska the person who was searching for Christ the night he was born. She spoke to the Three Wise Men or Three Kings on their way to find him, they offered their company to her. But she replied I am too old, so the Three Men went on without her and she set search the following day but the "King" had gone from his birth place and when Babooska heard the news she decided to give her presents for Christ to the childern in her country Russia every year on the 13th of Dec to make them happy.

  • He is also called Kriss Kringle - origin unknown.

  • He is also called St. Nick origin Turkey.

  • Télapó is Santa Claus in Hungarian.

  • In Italy, he is called Babbo Natale. Also, they recieve their presents on January 6th from the gift bringer an old lady called Befana.

  • Black Peter, St Nick's helper which originates from Morocco or Liberia.

  • In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren.

  • In Denmark they call him, Julemand.

  • In Hong Kong they call him Sing dan lo ian in Cantonese.

  • In Slovenia they call him, Bozicek.

  • In Latvia Santa Claus is called Ziemmassve'tku veci'tis.

  • In the country Uruguay he is called Papá Noel.

  • In Lithuania, Santa Claus is called Kaledu Senis.

  • In Portugal, Santa Claus is known as Pai Natal. He brings presents on Christmas Eve. However, the portuguese tradition says the presents in that night are brought by the Newborn Jesus "Menino Jesus".

  • In Estonia he is called Jouluvana.

  • In Ireland he is called Santa Claus and children abbreviate this to just Santy.

  • Many children in the Hindu religion receive gifts from their god Ganesha during the Holiday Season.

  • In Austria, children get presents from Christkindl, the Christ Child on the 24th of December.

  • In Greece, Santa Claus is called "Aghios Vassilis" and he comes on the night of 31st December leaving the presents under the tree for the children to find them on New Year's Day.

  • In Hawaii, Santa Claus is known as Kanakaloka.

  • In Armenian, Santa Clause is Gaghant Baba and he brings presents to all the good girls and boys.

  • The name for Santa in Yugoslavia is Deda Mraz.

  • In Croatia, he is called Bozicnjak.

  • In Bulgaria they call him Diado Coleda.

  • In El Salvador, for some families Santa Claus brings gifts on Christmas Eve to those children who are well behaved. People get together with the family, children go to bed and find a gift on December 25th.

  • In Urdu he is called Baba Christmass.

  • In Romania, Santa Claus is Mos Craciun and he comes on the night of the 24th of December bringing presents. Also, the night of the 5th of December is Mos Nicolae (St. Nicholas) puts candies in the good children boots or a stick in the bad ones.

  • In Nevis/St. Kitts in the Caribbean, Santa Claus comes up from under the sea, not from the North Pole.

  • In Albanian he is called Urime Krishtlindjet.

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