The True Story Behind 'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas'

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The traditional character known as "Santa Claus" is also known to many as "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" who lives in the imaginations of children each Christmas season.

However, most people may not know that there was a real Saint Nicholas.

The Santa Claus familiar to us today bears little resemblance to the original Saint Nicholas -- a man who lived 1,700 years ago in Myra, a city in modern-day Turkey.

Serving as a bishop in the early Christian church, his generosity was well-known.

As one story goes, a man with three daughters fell on hard times. He didn't have enough money for a dowry for any of his daughters, so they couldn't marry. Legend has it that Nicholas secretly visited the family at night, dropping a bag of gold through the window.

There are many other stories of the generosity of Saint Nicholas - particularly to children.

However, Nicholas always insisted that no credit be given to him - but to God only.

Click play to watch more about the history of the traditional Santa Claus.

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