The concept of the American Santa Claus originated with St. Nicholas, who was born in Asia Minor in 280 A.D. He was known as a kind, benevolent man; indeed made a saint because of his generosity.
In honor of St. Nicholas, December 6 became the traditional day in Europe for the exchange of Christmas gifts and the beginning of the holiday season.精彩内容，尽在百度攻略：http://gl.baidu.com
荷兰移民把他们关于赠送礼物的圣-尼古拉斯的形式带到了美国，他们的发音是“Sinter Klass”。美国人不习惯于荷兰发音，把他改为“Santa Claus”，这就是广受孩子们喜爱的、圣诞节标志性的圣诞老人。
Dutch immigrants to the United States brought with them their version of the gift-giving St. Nicholas, known as Sinter Klass. Americans, unaccustomed to the Dutch pronunciation, turned this into Santa Claus, who is beloved as a symbol of Christmas by children of all ages.