Saint Nicholas Through the Ages

How did a Saint from Western Turkey become an elf-Lord driving reindeer around the North Pole? Let's take a look at the different iterations and traditions of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Patron Saint of, well, pretty much everything.
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It really is difficult to look at Dutch Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten.

It really is difficult to look at Dutch Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten.

Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly, January 1, 1881.

Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly, January 1, 1881.

"Norman Rockwell's 1921 cover for the magazine The Country Gentleman shows Santa with his modern red and white theme."

"Norman Rockwell's 1921 cover for the magazine The Country Gentleman shows Santa with his modern red and white theme."

Ghost of Christmas Present | Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition.

Ghost of Christmas Present | Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition.

St. Nicholas giving dowry gold | Artist: Elisabeth Ivanovsky

St. Nicholas giving dowry gold | Artist: Elisabeth Ivanovsky

Santa Claus’s Mail. Thomas Nast, 1871.

Santa Claus’s Mail. Thomas Nast, 1871.

Note the impish size of Santa in this. Thomas Nast, "Santa Claus and His Works," Wood engraving, 1866

Thomas Nast and the Image of Santa Claus

Note the impish size of Santa in this. Thomas Nast, "Santa Claus and His Works," Wood engraving, 1866

Victorian stained glass window of St. Nicholas http://gohistoric.com/blog/2007/10/03/new-zoom-lens-thame-church

Victorian stained glass window of St. Nicholas http://gohistoric.com/blog/2007/10/03/new-zoom-lens-thame-church

Santa is now larger than the child. Thomas Nast,  Harper's Weekly, December 24, 1881.

Santa is now larger than the child. Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly, December 24, 1881.

Sinterklaas, on his horse

Sinterklaas, on his horse

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