I just did some research on St. Nicholas, and I found that basically St. Nicholas and Santa Claus are very different people. Long ago, the legend of St. Nicholas got crossed with a legend of a pagan Scandanavian goat. In the US, Santa Claus’s image has undergone a lot, from being entirely forbidden in the 1600’s, to now becoming the commercialized icon of Christmas. Various poems, such as “The Night Before Christmas,” and the “Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus” letter have all contributed to his current reputation. Actually, Coca-Cola had a large part of creating Santa’s modern look. In 1931, an artist was hired to drew Santa images for their advertisements.
St. Nicholas, on the other hand, was the Bishop of Bari, Italy. Not much is known of him, but his legend states that he threw three bags of gold into the house of a father who was too poor for his daughters to marry. Because of St. Nicholas, the three daughters could marry and were saved from a life of sin. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of the young and the innocent, especially when they have been wronged. Ih the East he is patron of sailors due to his alleged appearance to sailors during a severe storm. In the West, his is known as the patron of children.