The earliest legend of Saint Nicholas reaches back to Asia Minor in the 4th century. Born in Patara, a seaport, St. Nicholas traveled to Egypt and Palestine as a young man. Wherever he traveled, his extraordinary kindness, and his practice of giving gifts to needy children made him a hero to the people.

Much later, the name "St. Nicholas" splintered into many variations among Protestant churches in Europe. Then, with the colonization of America, religious and secular images joined in recognizing "Santa Claus," who symbolized the spirit of giving.