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Watch Homer Simpson complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Watch Homer Simpson complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

SPRINGFIELD, Ore., Aug. 27 (UPI) --Homer Simpson completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with a little help from Bart, some penguins and Santa Claus.
Annie Martin
Black Pete will get a makeover for Amsterdam's Sinterklaas to remove racist implications

Black Pete will get a makeover for Amsterdam's Sinterklaas to remove racist implications

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug. 14 (UPI) --The mayor of Amsterdam says it's time to ditch elements of a traditional Christmas symbol that appears too racist to modern eyes.
Gabrielle Levy
New York's first openly gay congressman gets married

New York's first openly gay congressman gets married

COLD SPRING , N.Y., June 23 (UPI) --Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney married partner Randy Florke, becoming the second sitting congressman to wed a same-sex partner.
Ananth Baliga
'Little House on the Prairie' stars enjoy happy, tearful reunion

'Little House on the Prairie' stars enjoy happy, tearful reunion

NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- Seven "Little House on the Prairie" stars and the son of late actor Michael Landon reunited Wednesday on the Today show.
Annie Martin
Brett Favre still ripped; Twitter blows up over photo

Brett Favre still ripped; Twitter blows up over photo

ORLANDO, March 5 (UPI) -- Football fan posts photo of ripped, bearded Brett Favre online and the Internet explodes.
By Danielle Haynes

Arthur Rankin Jr., creator of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' dies

HARRINGTON SOUND, Bermuda, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Arthur Rankin Jr., the broadcasting legend behind holiday specials such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," has died in Bermuda, his family said.

'NORAD Track Santa' program a Christmas Eve success

PETERSON AFB, Colo., Dec. 27 (UPI) -- NORAD's Santa-tracking program answered a record 117,371 phone calls and 9,606 emails from people looking for Santa Claus this year, it said Friday.

Man dressed as Santa shot with pellet gun

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A man dressed as Santa Claus says he was shot with a pellet gun as he made his way to hand out Christmas gifts in Washington, D.C.
Aging expert: Santa may be healthier than he appears

Aging expert: Santa may be healthier than he appears

On the surface Santa Claus may seem an overweight workaholic with an affinity for sweets, but a U.S. geriatrician says Santa may be healthier than he appears.
ALEX CUKAN, United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
By United Press International
Michelle Obama chats with kids across North America on Christmas Eve

Michelle Obama chats with kids across North America on Christmas Eve

KAILUA, Hawaii, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- First lady Michelle Obama spent part of her Christmas Eve chatting on the phone with children as part of the U.S. military's Santa Claus tracking program.

Survey: Many adults plan Santa visits regardless of children

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The Pew Research Center in Washington said its survey indicates many adults plan for Santa visit their homes even if they don't have children who believe.

Santa gets sleigh-flying permission in Norway

OSLO, Norway, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority said Santa's sleigh has been given clearance to fly and land in the country.

Eminem straddles reindeer in odd Christmas photo

Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Eminem was not about to let the Holidays go by without sending his best to his fans, and thus the rapper posted his version of a Christmas card on Instagram and Twitter on Monday.
Veronica Linares
Black Santa Claus shot in back with pellet gun at DC toy giveaway

Black Santa Claus shot in back with pellet gun at DC toy giveaway

Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Black Santa Claus shot twice in the back with a pellet gun during Barry Farm toy drive in DC.
Evan Bleier
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Photos
Santa Claus
Dressed as Santa Claus, Kerry Nistel water-skis on the Potomac River as part of the 22nd annual Water Skiing Santa in Arlington, Virginia on December 24, 2007. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch)
Wiki

Santa Claus, or Santa, is a figure in North American culture with legendary, mythological and folkloric aspects, which reflect an amalgamation of the Dutch Sinterklaas, the English Father Christmas, and Christmas gift-bringers in other traditions. Santa Claus is said to bring gifts to the homes of good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24. Santa Claus in this contemporary understanding echoes aspects of hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift-giver Saint Nicholas, the man from whom the name of Santa Claus derives and in whose honor Santa Claus may be referred to as Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick.

Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children's books and films. The North American depiction of Santa Claus as it developed in the 19th and 20th century in turn influenced the modern perceptions of Father Christmas, Sinterklaas and Saint Nicholas in European culture.

According to a tradition which can be traced to the 1820s, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, with a large number of magical elves, and at least eight or nine flying reindeer. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the 1934 song Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Santa Claus has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior ("naughty" or "nice") and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Santa Claus."
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