Santa Claus
The (oddly timed) 666 issue of Four Color Comics.

Real Name

Kris Kringle / Father Christmas / Saint Nicholas

First Appearance


Original Publisher

European and North American folklore

Created by

The World


Santa Claus, a character who delivers gifts worldwide on Christmas Eve, is a personification of Christmas, based rather loosely on Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Sinterklaas. As Santa Claus’ popularity skyrocketed, many of his attributes were passed backwards to Father Christmas, Père Noël, Sinterklaas, and Ded Moroz who are nowadays all considered variations of the same wintertime-gifting character.

Santa Claus' origin has been told various ways by various authors. Here is what is widely known about Santa Claus:

Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) lives with his wife at or near the North Pole where there is always snow (although other Arctic or Subarctic locations are sometimes specified, like Iceland or Lapland). Every Christmas Eve, he packs his sleigh and flies around the world delivering gifts to children. His sleigh is usually pulled by eight flying reindeer - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, a slight variation on Clement C. Moore's original roster (with most appearances now including a ninth as well). The gifts are made by a group of elves who also live at the North Pole. He keeps a list of which children are "naughty" and which are "nice," only delivering gifts to the "nice" ones by climbing down chimneys and leaving the presents under a Christmas tree or in stockings.

In some stories, he has children: The 1892 play, Santa Claus’ daughter, portrays Santa Claus as a king, “Ruler of the Kingdom of the North Pole,” where he lives with his wife and daughte, Kitty, in a “Snow Castle” or “Snow‐palace” and has a male secretary named Gussie de Smythe who prepares the annual directory of gift recipients. The kingdom is defended by “Amazons” composed of a band of “Snow‐fairies” with their own queen, as well as personifications of the (US) holidays: Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Santa Claus is said to be hundreds of years old and that “one of the conditions of [his] becoming immortal and the Christmas Saint” is his not being allowed to leave the North Pole but once a year.

The 1894 play “The Conquest of Santa Claus” portrays Santa and Mrs. Claus as having two children, Bertha and Fritz.

In “There Was a Boy Who Lived on Pudding Lane,” Santa Claus’ father is both the Baker and the Pieman, combined into one character; his mother is an original character named Nellie Claus; his younger brothers are named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and his maternal grandmother is Mother Goose. Young Santa Claus, already an adept toymaker, is inspired to give toys away after a heroic episode saving the children of Cole’s kingdom from the Pied Piper, breaking the Piper’s spell by promising them toys. Later, it is King Cole who, on the request of Mother Goose, allows Santa to continue to give toys away indefinitely rather than sell them for a living by granting him a free toy business with free lodging on the condition that he move to the North Country. Santa marries a local woman named Bessie and they leave for the North Country on their wedding day, taken in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to a gorgeous house (“a great, wide, low building, furnished in log furniture and bearskins, and with a fire blazing in every room!”), all of which originally belonged to King Cole, and the two make toys for the children of the world forever thereafter. (No mention is made of elves.)


Ded Moroz is the Slavic counterpart to Santa Claus, but in the most famous tale told of him, he acts more like Jack Frost or the Frost King, and public‐domain stories in English often even translate his name as King Frost. He is, nevertheless, portrayed as distinguishing a nice child from a naughty one, giving gifts (to the nice one), and driving a sleigh pulled by a team of six white horses. In the tale, he springs from one tree to another and has the power to make a young woman who was abandoned by her family in the cold forest become colder and colder. However, he takes pity on her when she does not complain and gives her jewels and a silver and gold‐embroidered robe (or a fur coat with beaver trim in another version). When her family then leave her stepsister in the same spot expecting similar gifts, Ded Moroz literally freezes the rude stepsister to death.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

  • “Sir Christmas” (“Syre Cryſtes Maſſe”), carol attributed to Richard Smart, ca. 1461–77. Reprinted in Ancient Songs, from the Time of King Henry the Third, to the Revolution, compiled by Joseph Ritson, 1790. (Internet Archive)
  • Letter by Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York, 13 Nov. 1572, suppressing the annual riding of Yule and Yule’s wife. Reprinted in “Old York,” pt. 3, by Rev. J. Morris, The Month, vol. 25, no. 24, Dec. 1875. (HathiTrust)
  • Summer’s Last Will and Testament, by Thomas Nashe, 1592. Reprinted in A Select Collection of Old Plays …, vol. 9, ed. John Payne Collier, 1825. (Internet Archive)
  • Chriſtmas, His Maſque, by Ben Jonson, 1616. Reprinted in The Works of Ben Jonſon, vol. 6, 1756. (HathiTrust)
  • The Spring’s Glory, a Maſke, by Thomas Nabbes, 1638. Reprinted in The Spring’s Glory, a Maſke: Together with Sundry Poems, Epigrams, Elegies and Epithalamiums, 1639. (Internet Archive)
  • The Examination and Tryall of Old Father Chriſtmas; at the Aſſizes Held at the Town of Difference, in the County of Diſcontent: Written According to Legal Proceeding, by Josiah King, 1658. (U. Mich.) (HCC)
  • San Nicola di Bari (oratorio), libretto by Silvio Stampiglia, music by Giovanni Bononcini, 1693.
  • The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints; Compiled from Original Monuments and Other Authentic Records: Illustrated with the Remarks of Judicious Modern Critics and Historians, by Alban Butler, 1759. (HathiTrust, 1813 ed.)
  • A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty …, by Diedrich Knickerbocker (pseudonym of Washington Irving), 1809. Much of what makes Santa Claus distinct from Father Christmas and Sinterklaas originated in this book. (vol. 1 and vol. 2 on the Internet Archive)
  • “Saint Nicholas, good holy man!” (“Sancte Claus, goed heijlig man!”) (traditional song), collected (and possibly translated) by John Pintard, broadsheet, 1810. (Wikimedia)
    • Reprinted in History of the City of New York, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, by Mary L. Booth, 1859. (Internet Archive)
  • “Oh good holy man! whom we Sancte Claus name” (poem), The New York Spectator, 15 Dec. 1810. Reprinted in The Poet of Christmas Eve: A Life of Clement Clarke Moore 1779–1863, by Samuel White Patterson, 1956. (HathiTrust)
  • A New‐Year’s Present, to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve, part 3, The Children’s Friend, vol. 3, 1821. (Yale U. Library)
  • Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore, The Troy Sentinel, 23 Dec. 1823. (page online)
  • “Knickerbocker Hall, or The Origin of the Baker’s Dozen [Translated from an Ancient Dutch MS.],” by James Kirke Paulding, The New‐York Mirror: A Repository of Polite Literature and the Arts, vol. 8, no. 26, 1 Jan. 1831. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted in The Book of Saint Nicholas; Translated from the Original Dutch of Dominie Nicholas Ægidius Oudenarde, 1836. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Legend of St. Nicholas: From a Dutch Manuscript,” by James Kirke Paulding, The New‐York Mirror: A Repository of Polite Literature and the Arts, vol. 8, no. 45, 14 May 1831. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted in The Book of Saint Nicholas; Translated from the Original Dutch of Dominie Nicholas Ægidius Oudenarde, 1836. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Revenge of St. Nicholas: A Tale for the Holidays,” by James Kirke Paulding, The New‐York Mirror: A Weekly Journal, Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts, vol. 9, no. 26, 31 Dec. 1831. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted in The Book of Saint Nicholas; Translated from the Original Dutch of Dominie Nicholas Ægidius Oudenarde, 1836. (Internet Archive)
  • “Old Dutch House in New‐Street, Near Wall‐Street,” by James Kirke Paulding, The New‐York Mirror: A Weekly Journal, Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts, vol. 10, no. 31, 2 Feb. 1833. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted as “Claas Schlaschenschlinger,” in The Book of Saint Nicholas; Translated from the Original Dutch of Dominie Nicholas Ægidius Oudenarde, 1836. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Ride of Saint Nicholas on Newyear’s Eve,” in The Book of Saint Nicholas; Translated from the Original Dutch of Dominie Nicholas Ægidius Oudenarde, by James Kirke Paulding, 1836. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Christmas Legend,” in Mysteries of City Life; or, Stray Leaves from the World’s Book, Being a Series of Tales, Sketches, Incidents, and Scenes, Founded upon the Notes of a Home Missionary, by James Rees, 1848. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Wonders of Santa Claus,” by Ralph Hoyt, Harper’s Weekly, vol. 1, no. ?, 26 Dec. 1857. (Reproduced online)
    • Reprinted as “Santaclaus” in Echoes of Memory and Emotion, 1859. (Internet Archive)
    • Reprinted as “The Tour of St. Nicholas” in The School‐girl’s Garland: A Selection of Poetry, in Four Parts, 1864. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted, as arranged by Cora Worrell Alford, in Werner’s Magazine: A Journal of Expression—Vocal and Physical, vol. 16, no. 11, Nov. 1894. (HathiTrust)
  • King Winter, by Gustav W. Seitz, ca. 1859. King Winter is a blend of Old Man Winter and Father Christmas. (Internet Archive) (Library of Congress)
  • Santa Claus May Be Recognized” (song), by Benjamin Hanby, performed in church and at a charity dinner, 1864. Published as “Santa Claus,” additional verses by Paulina, in Our Song Birds, vol. 4, The Dove, Oct. 1866. Reprinted in Chapel Gems for Sunday Schools; Selected from “Our Song Birds,” for 1866, The “Snow Bird,” The “Robin,” The “Red Bird,” and The “Dove,” 1866. (Internet Archive)
    • Reprinted with altered opening lines as “A Christmas Song,” in The First Year Nature Reader, by Katherine Beebe and Nellie F. Kingsley, 1896. (Internet Archive)
    • Reprinted with an added verse as “A Visit from Santa Claus,” The Easy First Reader, by Geoffrey Buckwalter, 1905. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted as “St. Nick,” Primary Plans: A Monthly Journal of Practical Aids for Primary Teachers, vol. 4, no. 5, Dec. 1906. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted as “Up on the House Top,” School Education, vol. 30, no. 3, Nov. 1910. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted as “The Story of Santa Claus’ Ride,” The Bay View Magazine, vol. 22, no. 3, Dec. 1914. (HathiTrust)
  • Lilly’s Secret” (poem), by Emily Huntington Miller, The Little CorporalDec. 1865. Reprinted in Aunt Judy’s Magazine, vol. 6, no. 35, Mar. 1869. (HathiTrust)
    • “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” music by James Pierpont, song no. 86 in School Chimes: A New School Music Book, 1874. (Internet Archive)
  • General Lee and Santa Claus: Mrs. Louise Clack’s Christmas Gift to to Her Little Southern Friends, by Louise Clack, 1866. (Internet Archive)
  • Santa Claus Frolics (play), [by George Melville Baker,] 1866. (HathiTrust)
  • The Slav’s Poetical Views of Nature, vol. 2, by Alexander Afanasyev, 1867.
  • “Mrs. Santa Claus and Jessie Brown,” Harper’s Weekly: A Journal of Civilization, vol. 13, no. 628, 9 Jan. 1869. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Letter from Santa Claus,” by Mrs. T. Bailey, The Nursery: A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers, vol. 5, no. ?, 1869. (Internet Archive)
  • Santa Claus and His Works, by George P. Webster, 1869. (U. of Florida)
  • A Letter From Santa Claus (letter, 1870s) by Mark Twain
  • “St. Nicholas of Myra,” in A Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art: With Descriptive Illustrations, by Clara Erskine Clement, 1871. (Internet Archive)
  • Hidden Treasure; or, The Good St. Nicholas: A Goblin Story for Christmas, by Nathan Boughton Warren, 1872. (HathiTrust)
  • “My Godmother’s Picture Book,” by Juliana Horatia Ewing, serialized in Little Folks, vol. 2, 1872.
  • St. Nicholas (magazine, 1873–1922)
    • Introduction by Mary Mapes Dodge, St. Nicholas, vol. 1, no. 1, Nov. 1873. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Frost Fairies,” Birdie and His Fairy Friends: A Book for Little Children, by Margaret T. Canby, 1873. Santa Claus does not appear in the story but is said to be the neighbor of Jack Frost (who lives “far to the North”) and is the intended recipient of a large gift of Jack’s gold and gems, although it never reaches him. (Reproduced online)
  • The Snow Maiden (play), by Alexander Ostrovsky, 1873.
  • “Christmas Mummers in Dorsetshire,” by John Udal, Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc., 5th ser., vol. 2, no. ?, 26 Dec. 1874. (Internet Archive)
    • “Christmas Mummers in Dorsetshire,” by John Udal, The Folk‐lore Record, vol. 3, pt. 1, 1880. Greatly expanded to include entire transcripts of mummers plays. (Internet Archive)
  • “Old York,” pt. 3, by Rev. J. Morris, The Month, vol. 6 (25), no. 24 (138), Dec. 1875. (HathiTrust)
  • “Lill’s Travels in Santa Claus Land,” in Lill’s Travels in Santa Claus Land and Other Stories, by Ellis Towne, Sophie May Farman and Ella Farman, Doll Doctor series, 1877.
  • The Daughter of the Snows (ballet), libretto by Marius Petipa, music by Ludwig Minkus, 1879.
  • “The Marriage of Santa Claus,” in The Reading Club and Handy Speaker: Being Serious, Humorous, Pathetic, Patriotic, and Dramatic Selections in Prose and Poetry, for Readings and Recitations, no. 9, ed. George Melville Baker, 1881. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Song of Saint Nicholas,” Rhymes and Jingles, by Mary Mapes Dodge, 1882. Makes no mention of reindeer, but instead claims that Saint Nicholas is able to visit every child’s home because he travels via their dreams. (Internet Archive)
  • The Snow Maiden (opera), by Nikolai Rimsky‐Korsakov, 1882.
  • “The False Sir Santa Claus (A Christmas Masque for Young and Old),” by E. S. Brooks, St. Nicholas, vol. 10, no. 1, Nov. 1882. (Internet Archive)
  • “Boreas Bluster’s Christmas Present,” by Helen Ashe Hays, Harper’s Young People: An Illustrated Weekly, vol. 5, no. 215, 11 Dec. 1883. (Internet Archive)
    • Reprinted in The Adventures of Prince Lazybones and Other Stories, 1912. (HathiTrust)
  • “Lucy Lee from High Dundee” (p. 208), by A. Brennan, “Fun‐Beams” (226), by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, and “Santa Claus and the Mouse” (236) by Emilie Poulsson, St. Nicholas, vol. 11, no. 3, Jan. 1884. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Peace Egg: A Christmas Mumming Play,” by Juliana Horatia Ewing, Aunt Judy’s Magazine, vol. 3 (new ser.), no. 9?, Jan.? 1884. (Not to be confused with Ewing’s 1872 story of the same title.) (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted in The Peace Egg and A Christmas Mumming Play, 1887. (Internet Archive)
  • “Sancte Claus, Bishop” (“Sinter Klaas, Bisschop”) and “St. Nikolaas” (poems), New Amsterdam Gazette, vol. 2, no. 7, 27 Feb. 1885. (HathiTrust)
  • “Death of Santa Claus” (poem), in Buttercups and Clover, by Alice M. Ball, 1885. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Christmas Dream, and How It Came True,” in Lulu’s Library, vol. 1, by Louisa May Alcott, 1886. (Internet Archive)
  • “How the Good Gifts Were Used by Two,” by Howard Pyle, Harper’s Young People: An Illustrated Weekly, vol. 7, no. 339, 27 Apr. 1886. (Internet Archive)
  • “Says Santa” (rhyme), by P. S. C., Wide Awake, vol. 28, no. 1, Dec. 1888. (HathiTrust)
  • “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh‐Ride” (poem), by Katharine Lee Bates, Wide Awake, vol. 28, no. 1, Dec. 1888. (HathiTrust)
  • “A Captured Santa Claus,” by Thomas Nelson Page, Harper’s Young People, vol. 10, no. 475, 4 Dec. 1888. (Internet Archive)
    • Reprinted in Among the Camps or Young People’s Stories of the War, 1891. (Internet Archive)
  • The Autobiography of a Father Christmas, by P. B. Power (d. 1899), [1890]. (HathiTrust)
  • “Christmas Hymns,” in Dutch Nursery Rhymes of Colonial Times, ed. Mrs. M. P. Ferris, 1890. (HathiTrust)
  • “Santa Claus on a Lark” and “Santa Claus in the Pulpit,” in Santa Claus on a Lark and Other Christmas Stories, by Washington Gladden, 1890. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack Frost,” in Tales and Legends from the Land of the Tzar: Collection of Russian Stories, trans. Edith Hodgetts, 1891. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Frost King,” by Helen Keller, The Mentor, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 1892. Santa Claus does not appear in this retelling of “The Frost Fairies” (above), but is likewise said to be the neighbor of King Jack Frost (who lives “far to the North”) and is the intended recipient of a large gift of Jack’s treasure, although it never reaches him. (Internet Archive)
  • Santa Claus’ Daughter: A Musical Christmas Burlesque in Two Acts …, by Everett Elliott and F. W. Hardcastle, Ames’ Series of Standard and Modern Drama, no. 309, 1892. Santa Claus’ teen daughter Kitty, feeling isolated living at the North Pole, requests that her father bring back a man for her, so on his annual flight, he kidnaps a crass Irishman in the hopes that, after meeting him, his daughter will no longer want any man from the world of mortals. (Internet Archive)
  • “Birth and Adventures of Santa Claus,” in Poems of Two Worlds: Containing The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (An Allegory), Oo‐La‐Ita (A Legend of Minnesota), and Other Historical, Legendary, Allegorical, Humorous, Moral and Spiritual Poems, by William Cotter Wilson, 1893. (Internet Archive)
  • Mr. Kris Kringle: A Christmas Tale, by Silas Weir Mitchell, 1893. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Story of King Frost,” The Yellow Fairy Book, ed. Andrew Lang, 1894. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Conquest of Santa Claus: A Christmas Entertainment,” by Caroline A. Creevey and Margaret E. Sangster, Harper’s Young People, vol. 16, no. 787, 27 Nov. 1894. (Internet Archive)
  • A Christmas Tale: In One Act (Conte de Noël), by Maurice Bouchor, 1895, trans. Barrett H. Clark, 1915. (Internet Archive)
  • “Father Chris’mus,” ch. 9 of Neighbors of Ours: Slum Stories of London, by Henry W. Nevinson, 1895. (Internet Archive)
  • “Santa Claus’ Assistants,” in The Wonderful Fairies of the Sun, by Ernest Vincent Wright, 1896. (Internet Archive)
  • Multiple pieces in Christmas Entertainment: New Songs to Old Tunes, Fancy Drills, Acrostics, Motion Songs, Tableaux, Short Plays, Recitations in Costume, ed. Alice M. Kellogg, Practical Teacher’s Library, 1897. (Internet Archive)
  • Is There a Santa Claus?” (essay), by Francis Pharcellus Church, The Sun, 21 Sept. 1897. (Wikimedia)
  • “How Christmas Came to the Santa Maria Flats,” in Ickery Ann and Other Girls and Boys, by Elia W. Peattie, 1898. Reprinted in The Children’s Book of Christmas Stories, 1913. (Internet Archive)
  • A Vision of St. Nicholas: Affectionately Inscribed to My Friend George Jules Denis and the “Placens Uxor” in Memory of the Fair Goddess Nicolina, in Whose Worship We Have Joined Under the Hospitable Umbrage of Bonnie Brae, by Holdridge Ozro Collins, 1898. (Internet Archive)
  • The Mother of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus): A Story of Duty and Peril, by Grant Balfour (pseudonym of James Miller Grant), 1899. (HathiTrust) (Internet Archive)
  • Santa Claus’s Partner, by Thomas Nelson Page, 1899. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Messenger from Santa Claus,” in My Mysterious Clients, by Harvey Scribner, 1900. Reprinted in A Messenger from Santa Claus and Other Christmas Stories, 1904. (HathiTrust)
  • Santa Claus: A Monologue, by J. L. McClelland, Baker’s Edition of Plays, 1901. (Internet Archive)
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (novel, 1902) by L. Frank Baum
  • The Surprising Adventures of the Man in the Moon, Showing How, in Company with Santa Claus, Robinson Crusoe, Cinderella and Her Prince, Jack the Giant Killer, Little Red Riding Hood, Old Mother Hubbard, Jack Sprat and His Wife, Tommy Tucker and Some Others, He Made a Remarkable Tour over Land and Sea and Through the Air, by Ray M. Steward (pseudonym of Edward Stratemeyer), 1903.
  • A Kidnapped Santa Claus” (story, 1904), by L. Frank Baum
  • “A Defective Santa Claus” (poem), by James Whitcomb Riley, Collier’s Weekly, vol. 34, no. 10, 3 Dec. 1904. (HathiTrust)
  • Is There a Santa Claus?, by Jacob Riis, 1904. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Visit to Santa Claus,” in A Messenger from Santa Claus and Other Christmas Stories, by Harvey Scribner, 1904. (HathiTrust)
  • “A Message to Mother Goose,” by Ellen Manly, St. Nicholas, vol. 32, no. 2, Dec. 1904. (Internet Archive)
  • “Santa Is Coming” (song), by W. A. Hodgdon, in Melodic First Reader, Natural Music Course, 1906. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Ballad of Santa Claus” (poem), by Henry van Dyke, in Charter, Constitution By‐Laws and List of Members of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York …1907. (HathiTrust)
  • Jack Frost’s Mistake: A Very Clever One Act Operetta, for Thanksgiving or Any Time, by Clara J. Denton, 1907. (HathiTrust)
  • “A Perjured Santa Claus,” in Wards of Liberty, by Myra Kelly, 1907. (Internet Archive)
  • “Saint Nicholas,” in Stories of the Saints, by Caroline van Dusen Chenoweth, 1907. (HathiTrust)
  • The Goblins’ Christmas, by Elizabeth Anderson, 1908. (Internet Archive)
  • Tommy Trot’s Visit to Santa Claus, by Thomas Nelson Page, 1908. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Philanthropist’s Christmas,” by James Weber Linn, The Youth’s Companion, vol. 82, no. ?, — 1908. Reprinted in The Children’s Book of Christmas Stories, 1913. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Closing of Santa Claus’ Door,” in Your Child and Mine, by Anne Warner, 1909. (Internet Archive)
  • “Father Christmas at Home,” in The Rainbow Book: Tales of Fun & Fancy, by Mrs. M. H. Spielmann (d. 1938), 1909. (Internet Archive)
  • The Road to Oz (novel, 1909), by L. Frank Baum
  • “The Story of King Frost,” Childhood’s Favorites and Fairy Stories, vol. 1, ed. Hamilton Wright Mabie, Young Folks’ Treasury in 12 Volumes, 1909. (Google Books)
  • “A Child’s Christmas Prayer” (poem), in Songs with Silver Linings, by James W. Foley, 1910. (HathiTrust)
  • “Santa Claus” (song), by Mrs. Charles H. Toby, Wafted Melodies for Piano, 1911. (HathiTrust)
  • “Santa Claus’s Baby” and “Little Miss Santa Claus,” in Santa Claus’s Baby and Other Christmas Stories, by John Coleman Adams, 1911. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Christmas Conspiracy: A Christmas Play for Boys and Girls,” by Elizabeth Woodbridge, St. Nicholas, vol. 39, no. 2, Dec. 1911. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Legend of St. Nicholas (An Old French Chanson),” in A Posy of Folk Songs, by R. L. Gales (d. 1927), 1912. (Internet Archive)
  • “Little Girl’s Christmas,” by Winnifred E. Lincoln, and “Jimmy Scarecrow’s Christmas,” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, in The Children’s Book of Christmas Stories1913. (Internet Archive)
  • “Saint Nicholas,” “Is the Story True?,” “The Ride of Saint Nicholas” etc., in Holland Stories, by Mary Estella Smith, 1913. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Fairing of St. Nicholas” (poem), by R. L. Gales (d. 1927), The Vineyard, vol. 7, no. 39, Dec. 1913. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted as “The Ballad of St. Nicholas,” in David in Heaven & Other Poems, [1914]. (Internet Archive)
  • If Only I Were Santa Claus, by Edgar Guest, 1914. (HathiTrust)
  • “King Frost,” More Russian Picture Tales, by Valery Carrick, trans. Nevill Forbes, 1914. (Internet Archive)
  • Mrs. Santa Claus, Militant: A Christmas Comedy (play), by Bell Elliott Palmer, 1914. Mrs. Santa Claus waits for Mr. Santa Claus (whom she calls “Jolly”) to take a nap and then steals his sleigh and attempts to deliver the Christmas presents herself. (Google Books)
  • The Rejuvenation of Father Christmas, by J. Edgar Park, 1914. (HathiTrust)
  • “A Legend of Saint Nicholas” (play), by Beulah Marie Dix, Poet Lore, vol. 25, no. 5, Sept.–Oct. 1914. (Internet Archive)
  • “Christmas Masque,” in Christmasse in Merrie England with Old Carols, Dances and a Masque, arr. Mari Ruef Hofer, 1915. (Internet Archive)
  • The Dilemma of Santa Claus, by Lloyd C. Douglas, [1915?]. (HathiTrust)
  • “Santa Land” (song), words by Harriet D. Castle, music by J. A. Parks, in Second Year Music, Hollis Dann Music Course, 1915. (HathiTrust)
  • “A Story of Saint Nicholas” and “Elijah the Prophet and St. Nicholas,” in Russian Folk Tales (Translated from the Russian), by Alexander Afanasyev, trans. Leonard A. Magnus, 1915. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Spirit of Christmas,” by Edith Houghton Hooker, and “Mr. S. Claus’s Predicament (Prelude for a Christmas‐Tree Distribution),” by J. D. Whitney, St. Nicholas, vol. 43, no. 2, Dec. 1915. (Internet Archive)
  • Christmas Island (poem, 1916) by Katharine Lee Bates
  • Santa Claus' Riddle (poem, 1916) by Katharine Lee Bates
  • Santa's Stocking (poem, 1916) by Katharine Lee Bates
  • “A Happy Solution,” by Margaret Johnson, St. Nicholas, vol. 43, no. 3, Jan. 1916. (Internet Archive)
  • “Where Santa Claus Came From,” by Rose Ranson, The College Greetings, vol. 19, no. 4, Jan. 1916. (Internet Archive)
  • “Anita’s Secret or Christmas in the Steerage,” in The White Christmas and Other Merry Christmas Plays, by Walter Ben Hare, 1917. (Internet Archive)
  • A Reversible Santa Claus, by Meredith Nicholson, 1917. (Internet Archive)
  • St. Nicholas: His Legend and His Role in the Christmas Celebration and Other Popular Customs, by George H. McKnight, 1917. (Internet Archive)
  • A Department Store Santa Claus: A Christmas Play in Three Scenes and a Tableau, by Ernest Godfrey Hoffsten, 1918. (Internet Archive)
  • The Luck of Santa Claus: A Play for Young People, by B. C. Porter, 1918. (Internet Archive)
  • Santa's Helpers (poem, 1918) by M. Nora Boylan
  • When Santa Claus Went to the Front, by Ethel E. Reed and Martha G. Kendall, 1918. (Internet Archive)
  • Telephoning to Santa Claus, by John D. MacDonald, 1919. (Internet Archive)
  • A Christmas Dilemma, by Katharine Van Etten Lyford, 1920. (Internet Archive)
  • “Raggedy Andy’s Smile” and “The Wooden Horse,” in Raggedy Andy Stories: Introducing the Little Rag Brother of Raggedy Ann, by Johnny Gruelle, 1920. (HathiTrust)
  • The Christmas Chain (play), by Lilian Pearson, 1921. (Internet Archive)
  • The Christmas Dinner (play, 1921) by Shepherd Knapp
  • Down the Chimney (play, 1921) by Shepherd Knapp
  • Santa Claus Gets His Wish: A Christmas Play in One Act for Young Children, by Blanche Proctor Fisher, 1921. (Internet Archive)
  • Up the Chimney (play, 1921) by Shepherd Knapp
  • “There Was a Boy Who Lived on Pudding Lane: A True Account, if Only You Believe It, of the Life and Ways of Santa, Eldest Son of Mr. and Mrs. Claus,” by Sarah Addington, The Ladies’ Home Journal, vol. 38, no. 12, Dec. 1921. (HathiTrust)
  • Queen Christmas: A Pageant Play, by Carolyn Wells, 1922. (Internet Archive)
  • “Saint Nicholas and the Children,” in Canadian Fairy Tales, by Cyrus Macmillan, 1922. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Great Adventure of Mrs. Santa Claus,” by Sarah Addington, The Ladies’ Home Journal, vol. 39, no. 12, Dec. 1922. (HathiTrust)
  • “About Saint Nicholas,” in Gay Legends of the Saints, by Frances Margaret Fox, 1942. In the public domain from failure to renew copyright. (HathiTrust)
  • The Christmas Forest, by Louise Fatio, 1950. In the public domain from failure to renew copyright. (HathiTrust)
  • Festivals of Western Europe, by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, 1958. In the public domain from failure to renew copyright. Multiple entries on traditions involving Sinterklaas and Père Noël; see pp. 19, 49, 50, 81, 118, 144, 147, 219, 238. (HathiTrust)

Public Domain Film Appearances

  • Santa Claus Filling Stockings (1897)
  • Santa Claus and the Children (1898)
  • The Visit from Santa Claus (1899)
  • Santa Claus' Visit (1900)
  • The Night Before Christmas (1905)
  • A Little Girl Who Did Not Believe in Santa Claus (1907)
  • Night Before Christmas (1908)
  • A Trap for Santa Claus (1909)
  • Ida's Christmas (1912)
  • A Christmas Revenge (1915)
  • The Faith of Sonny Jim (1915)
  • The Tichborne Mummers' Play (1919)
  • The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives (1933)
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1944)
  • Santa's Surprise (1947)
  • Santa Claus' Punch and Judy (1948)
  • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1948)
  • Joe Santa Claus (tv, 1951)
  • The Miracle on 34th Street (tv, 1955)
  • Santa Claus [vs. The Devil] (1959)
  • The Christmas Visitor (1959)
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
  • Santa and the Three Bears (1970)

Public Domain Comic Appearances


  • In Russia, he is known as "Ded Moroz", the literal translation of the name would be "Old Man Frost," although the name is often translated as "Father Frost" in light of the modern usage of "ded" to refer to a grandfather. Ded Moroz is said to bring presents to children, however, unlike the secretive Santa Claus, the gifts are often delivered "in person," at New Year's Eve parties and other New Year celebrations.
    • In a Russian story, the Snow Maiden is the daughter of Spring the Beauty and Father Frost, and yearns for the companionship of mortal humans. She grows to like a shepherd named Lel, but her heart is unable to know love. Her mother takes pity and gives her this ability, but as soon as she falls in love, her heart warms and she melts. This version of the story was made into a play The Snow Maiden by Aleksandr Ostrovsky, with incidental music by Tchaikovsky in 1873.

See Also