“…With a little old driver, so lively and quick I knew straight away it must be St. Nick…” According to the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Santa Claus has aged well and still gets around the world in a night and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
But I’m in my (cough, cough) 40’s, and he’s been a staple of my life around Christmas time for as long as I can remember. If he was old then, he must be even older now, but you can’t tell by looking at him.
Perhaps St. Nick holds a secret to keeping up appearances and aging gracefully. After all, the Santa Claus we see in books, movies, and in the malls is a white-haired, elderly old gentleman who certainly couldn’t travel the world bringing presents to all the good little boys and girls in just one night.
So how old is santa claus Let yourself be surprised.
Also see: 30 Best Christmas Poems That Will Fill Your Hearts With Holiday Cheer
How old is Santa Claus?
After all the calculations and endless internet searches, Santa Claus will be 1,751 years old this year.
Yes, that’s right. He’s not 80 or 90 years old. Not even 100 years old. This jolly old fellow is (incredibly) 1,751!
Related: Ho Ho Holiday Knowledge: All the Facts About Santa Claus You Ever Needed to Know
The real Santa
“…His eyes – how they sparkled! His dimples how happy
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was pulled up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
He held the stump of a pipe between his teeth,
And the smoke; it surrounded his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a small round belly,
That trembled when he laughed, like a bowl of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a really funny old elf…”
This passage from the same Christmas poem paints a perfect picture of the “classic” Santa that we’ve all come to love over the years. But where does this depiction come from?
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Santa Claus, St. Nick or Kris Kringle are names given over the years to the 3rd-century monk on whom the legend is based. On March 15, around AD 270 or 280, St. Nicholas was born into this world in Patara (modern-day Turkey) and would grow up to be a man known for his character, kindness, and generosity.
Born of inherited wealth, legend has it that he gave away everything, traveled the countryside and helped the poor and sick. St Nick’s stories varied over the years and soon he became the ‘Protector of Children and Seafarers’.
Its popularity continued to grow even after the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in people being discouraged from worshiping saints.
Also read: Santa Claus is coming to town – and he’s bringing 50 of the best Christmas jokes!
Modern Santa Claus
Santa’s appearance, character and legend have also changed over the years. Our modern Santa shopping center was first created by Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly from 1859-1886.
An evolution in Santa’s appearance soon followed after 1931, when the popular Coca-Cola ads began appearing annually.
Related: Dear Santa! That’s the correct address for Kris Kringle
Santa will remain strong as long as we all continue to believe in the magic of mystery, kindness and generosity (just like Saint Nicholas).
Perhaps his secret to his timeless years is that he is fueled by the positivity and loving energy that so many people give around the holidays? One thing is certain – for my children’s children and even their children and beyond, Santa will be forever Timeless.
Next up: Hey, Santa! Here is the 411 to call the Santa Claus hotline