It’s Christmas, the “most wonderful time of the year.” What’s interesting are several historical links to the Christmas story (taken from There Really is a Santa Claus: William Federer).
Yes, there really is a Santa Claus. Better known as Saint Nicholas, this virtuous man living in Asia Minor spent entire days/nights in prayer and upon receiving a substantial inheritance, generously distributed it to the poor and needy.
The earliest discussion of the nativity date is in the writings of Clement of Alexandria – 200 years after the birth of Jesus!
Pope Liberius instituted Christ’s Mass on December 25, 354 A.D. to confront and ultimately end the pagan worship of the Roman Saturn, the god of the sun, on this very same day.
The “Twelve Days of Christmas” originally occurred between December 25 - January 6 (the visit of the wise men) due to disagreement in Eastern Europe as to which day was holier.
Saint Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in 1223 A.D. to combat so much attention given to gifts and material things and return the focus of the people back to Christ.
The legend of St. Nicholas returning once a year to check on the good/bad of children has its basis in Christ returning to judge the dead according to their works (Rev. 20:12).