Today is the Feast of St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra and progenitor of Santa Claus.
Santa’s red suit is a product of an iconic Coca-Cola advertising campaign. I’m not sure how he was moved from Turkey to the North Pole. As for the workshop of elves and the addition of Mrs Claus, well . . . I’m starting to wonder if it really is the same person. But apparently it all started with St Nick!
According to the sources (in this case, my Universalis app):
He was bishop of Myra, in Lycia (now part of Turkey) and died about the middle of the fourth century. He has been venerated throughout the Church, especially since the 10th century. Because of his help to the poor he is the patron saint of pawnbrokers, whose insignia of three golden balls represent the three purses of gold he is said to have given secretly to a poor man who could not afford dowries for his three daughters.
Meanwhile . . .