Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus is very old. He was born over a thousand years ago in Turkey. When he was a young priest, he secretly gave a gift of gold coins to three very poor girls. The father of the girls saw Nicholas perform this good deed. Nicholas was embarrassed, and asked the father not to tell anyone. The father kept his secret for a while, but eventually he told the world about the good deeds and generosity of Nicholas. As you can see, the spirit of giving at Christmas has a very long history.
People view St. Nick in many different ways. In England, he is called Father Christmas, while French children call him Père Nöel. Some Swiss children call him Samichlaus, and Dutch children call him Sinterklaas. Hungarian children call him Mikulás, and others call him Saint Nicholas. Children in North America used to call him Kris Kringle or Bellsnickle, but now they call him Santa Claus. Santa means “saint”, and Claus sounds like the last part of Nicholas.