We believe, based on historical data and 44 years of NORAD tracking information, Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of people throughout the world. Santa Claus is known by many names, but his first recorded name was Saint Nicholas. Historians claim that the history of Santa starts with the tradition of Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Christian priest who lived in the Middle East in an area of present day Turkey. Saint Nicholas became famous throughout the world for his kindness in giving gifts to others who were less fortunate. Typically, he placed gifts of gold down people's chimneys - sometimes into stockings. It may be that the Santa we know and love emerged from the legacy of Saint Nicholas. Clearly, Santa's basic approach to gift giving is strikingly similar to that of Saint Nicholas. What we know from history is that the tradition of Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas merged. Could they be the same person? Only Santa Claus can tell us for sure.
Long before the Wright brothers flew the first airplane, Santa knew he had to find a way to quickly travel from house to house. It may be that Santa heard reports of flying reindeer near the North Pole and went there in search of the elusive animals. Of course, detailed information on these reindeer remains a mystery to this day.
We do know however that Santa somehow found a way to get the reindeer to help him with his worldwide mission of gift giving. The rest is hidden by a veil of sweet mystery.
The letter to the right is the most famous example of a child wanting to know about Santa. Click here to read the newspaper's answer to Virginia's famous question.