Saint Claus was a Bishop in Myra (present-day Turkey) in the 4th Century A.D.; he died December 6, A.D. 343.
He revived three dead children, saved his town from starvation and gave dowries to poor girls.
As a baby he stood up in his bathtub and refused to be washed during fasting time!
He is the Patron Saint of Sailors and Mariners, and also of Amsterdam; many towns have "St.Nicolas Churches".
Somehow, the Dutch have him arrive by Steamboat from SPAIN, together with "Black Pete", his Moorish page.
The Dutch "exported" Sinterklaas to New Holland, which they colonized from 1624-1674 (now New York)
It is strange that the R.C. custom "survived", because most of Holland turned protestant and committed
iconoclasm in 1566, which was followed by their
80 Year War of Independence against SPAIN (1568-1648)
Dutch children make wishing lists and put their (wooden) shoes
in front of the chimney for presents...both ways...
BLO fecit 20001204
also see major religions and
Thank You Note of Second Graders of Conestoga Elementary School