We at bionicbuddha recently came across some interesting tidbits about the muddled origins of Santa. The oriniginal Santa was Dutch and known as Sinterklaas. Back in the day, about 325 AD, good old pious St. Nicholas and his sidekick "Black Peter" would roam the country side rewarding good children with candy, while whipping or beating the bad ones. There are also indications that the dynamic duo would also paint the faces of the bad children black. Make of it what you will, I've seen Roots and it sounds like Santa had a whole lot of slave labour, if you catch my drift.
Is Santa really that bad a guy now? Here's more, the original Dutch name, again that's Sinterklaas, means Klaus of the sinders...which is another name for Thor. To the church, Santa is known as Saint Nick, while Thor on the other hand was known as old Nick. Old Nick is also the name for someone else that's awfuly fond of red...the underworld (not born slippy), fire and brimstone...anyone?
Finally, before 1931 the image of Santa ranged from big to small and fat to thin. What happened in 31 you say? Artist Haddon Sundblom created the image that we all accept today as being Santa for Coca Cola. Now, have a Coke and a smile and enjoy Christmas.