Whatever you want to call him – and whenever it is that he makes his appearance, it’s the same guy, inspired by a 3rd century Greek bishop named Nicholas who lived in Myra, Turkey and as a youth gave his large inheritance to the poor.
Depending on where you are this Christmas, here’s what you may hear him called:
Afghanistan - Baba Chaghaloo; Brazil and Portugal - Papai Noel and Pai Natal; Chile - Viejo Pascuero; Denmark - Julemanden; Finland - Joulupukki; Hungary - Mikulas; Ireland - Daidí na Nollaig; Italy - Babbo Natale; Japan - Hoteiosho; Lithuania - Kaledu Senelis; Malta - San Niklaw; Norway - Julenissen; Poland - Swiety Mikolaj; Russia - Ded Moroz; South Africa - Vader Kersfees; Sweden - Jultomten; and Turkey - Noel Baba
In the United States, he answers to all sorts of things … Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Papa Noel, St. Nick, Kris Kringle.
So, be good! Remember: He’s making a list and checking it twice!