Skip to main content

Service Update

Due to the Grey-Lockdown category restrictions, access to KidsStops and Discovery Zones are unavailable. Learn more.

How old is Santa?

Banner

Why is Santa so good at karate? Because he has a black belt! More than one of you have submitted this jolly joke to TPL Kids. Although we have no evidence that Santa knows karate, maybe he's picked up lots of ho-ho-hobbies since he's been around for such a long time. Just how old is Santa? Well, it's hard to sleigh...

Santa Claus has many names. He's sometimes called St. Nick. Not a lot is known about the historical St. Nicholas, but according to Britannica Library he lived during the 4th century. So you could say that Santa is more than 1,700 years old! St. Nicholas was a bishop of a church and became famous for performing miracles, helping children and giving gifts. The name Santa Claus comes from Sinterklaas, a Dutch word for St. Nicholas. It's believed that Santa's red suit is based on the red bishop's robe.

Today in North America, we can trace our ideas about Santa Claus back to the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," also called "The Night Before Christmas." The enchanting story gave us images of Santa driving a sleigh pulled by reindeer and climbing down the chimney to bring us presents. The poem was first published in 1823, so this version of Santa is almost 200 years old. But in a way, Santa's legend is ageless. The magic of the winter season, the happy surprise of opening a gift and the warmth of giving to others will never get old!

Recommended Reads