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Caroline Wilkinson, a facial anthropologist at the University of Manchester England , used these data and modern software simulations to create a modern reconstruction of the long-dead man. Wilkinson put a human face on Santa's original namesake—one with a badly broken nose, possibly suffered during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

Many believe that it houses the mortal remains and holy relics of St. Much of her work is necessarily subject to interpretation. The size and shape of the facial muscles that once covered Nicholas's skull had to be inferred, and the shape of that skull itself was recreated from two-dimensional data. Digital artists added details that were based on best guesses, including the olive-toned skin most common among Greek Mediterraneans like Nicholas, brown eyes, and the gray hair of a year-old man.

How did this St. Nicholas turn into the North Pole-dwelling bringer of Christmas gifts? The original saint was a Greek born in the late third century, around A. He became bishop of Myra, a small Roman town in modern Turkey. Nicholas was neither fat nor jolly but developed a reputation as a fiery, wiry, and defiant defender of church doctrine during the Great Persecution in , when Bibles were burned and priests made to renounce Christianity or face execution.

Nicholas defied these edicts and spent years in prison before the Roman emperor Constantine ended Christian persecution in with the Edict of Milan. Nicholas's fame lived long after his death on December 6 in the mid-fourth century, around because he was associated with many miracles, and reverence for him continues to this day independent of his Christmas connection. He is the protector of many types of people, from orphans to sailors to prisoners.

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Nicholas rose to prominence among the saints because he was the patron of so many groups. By about , explained University of Manitoba historian Gerry Bowler , author of Santa Claus: A Biography , he became known as a patron of children and magical gift bringer because of two great stories from his life. In the better-known tale, three young girls are saved from a life of prostitution when young Bishop Nicholas secretly delivers three bags of gold to their indebted father, which can be used for their dowries.

Nicholas entered an inn whose keeper had just murdered three boys and pickled their dismembered bodies in basement barrels. The bishop not only sensed the crime, but resurrected the victims as well. For several hundred years, circa to , St. Nicholas was the unchallenged bringer of gifts and the toast of celebrations centered around his feast day, December 6.

The strict saint took on some aspects of earlier European deities, like the Roman Saturn or the Norse Odin, who appeared as white-bearded men and had magical powers like flight.

He also ensured that kids toed the line by saying their prayers and practicing good behavior. But after the Protestant Reformation began in the s, saints like Nicholas fell out of favor across much of northern Europe. Bowler said that, in many cases, that job fell to baby Jesus, and the date was moved to Christmas rather than December 6. Some of these scary Germanic figures again were based on Nicholas, no longer as a saint but as a threatening sidekick like Ru-klaus Rough Nicholas , Aschenklas Ashy Nicholas , and Pelznickel Furry Nicholas.

If you leave a new bike under the tree, I will give you the antidote to the poison I put in the milk. While working in a store as Santa Claus, I had lots of boys ask me for an electric train set. Is that okay? The usual answer was a quick yes, but after I asked one boy this question, he became very quiet.

Trying to move the conversation along, I asked what else he would like Santa to bring him. My mother told me to write to you and say thanks for the train set. My dad plays with it all the time. A popular urban myth is that back in Coca Cola invented Santa Claus. What fuels this myth is that his red coat matches perfectly the Coca Cola livery. The truth is that while early Santa Claus often wore green, Santa Claus in red was established by the s, long before Coca Cola was invented. While it is true that the name Santa Claus was an American 'invention' sometime before The original name for the 'figure' associated with the mid-winter festival was Saint Nicholas, or St.

See more on the origins of Santa Claus. It's not only kids who make their way onto Santa's lap. There's something about the jolly man in the red suit that sparks a bit of romance in certain couples. One Santa says that he sees about two or three young men every season who use Santa to help propose to their girlfriends. Sometimes it works like a charm. Other times, not so much. In one case, the suitor was positive that his girlfriend would ask Santa for an engagement ring. But when Santa asked the young lady what she wanted, her reply was, 'A refrigerator for our new condo.

Her boyfriend stood nearby, perplexed. Santa seeing the sweat beginning to form on his forehead asked,'"Are you sure there isn't anything else you want? Santa asked her if she wanted something else one more time, not for her sake, but for the boyfriend's. The boyfriend finally took the hint, got down on one knee and proposed. This time, she said 'yes'. How's that for good will toward men? The Blue Bird. While awaiting trial for shoplifting on Christmas Eve, a woman spends the holidays in the custody of the district attorney who is prosecuting her. The Shop Around the Corner.

A pair of feuding Budapest shop clerks unknowingly conduct a romance by mail as Christmas approaches. A former newspaper reporter asks a man who needs money to impersonate a protester who says he will commit suicide on Christmas Eve. The Man Who Came to Dinner. An acerbic New York radio personality is forced to spend the holidays with an Ohio family after breaking his hip at their house.

A nightclub singer shares the story of her unhappy marriage with a soldier on leave for Christmas. The Curse of the Cat People. The main character befriends her father's dead first wife and an elderly retired stage actress during Christmas. Meet Me in St. I'll Be Seeing You. A soldier suffering from combat fatigue meets a young woman on Christmas furlough from prison and their mutual loneliness blossoms into romance.

The Cheaters. An eccentric wealthy family facing bankruptcy schemes to steal an inheritance, but an alcoholic ex-actor they take in for Christmas charity complicates their plan. Christmas in Connecticut. The Bells of St. A priest and a nun who have a friendly rivalry must try to save their school from being shut down on Christmas. It's a Wonderful Life. A businessman is shown by his guardian angel on Christmas Eve what the world would be like if he were never born. Miracle on 34th Street. An old man claims to be Santa and a lawyer defends him in court to stop him from being institutionalized.

Christmas Eve. To save her fortune from a designing nephew, Matilda Reid must locate her three long-lost adopted sons in time for a Christmas Eve reunion. It Happened on Fifth Avenue. A hobo who occupies a vacant New York City mansion for the winter unknowingly gets involved with the owner's family. Private detective Philip Marlowe gets mixed up in a case involving a missing wife and murder at Christmas time. At Christmastime in the Old West, three outlaws find a woman dying in childbirth, and deliver the baby to civilization in a retelling of The Three Wise Men.

A returning war hero who is on the run from the mob learns that a gangster has taken over his nightclub and murdered his partner. Roy Rogers and friends come to the aid of a Christmas tree farmer. A horseracing fan has a month to pay back the money that he borrowed from a gangster just before Christmas.

The Holly and the Ivy. White Christmas. The story is not a remake, however.

Funny Santa Claus pictures Father Christmas jokes. Ogden Nash poem - Funny Jokes

We're No Angels. Three escaped prisoners hide out in the home of a kindly shopkeeper and repay his kindness by helping him and his family out of several crises. The Night of the Hunter. Disney reinterpreted the Christmas tale about the residents of Toyland in Technicolor in this musical.

Pocketful of Miracles. A New York gangster and his girlfriend attempt to turn street beggar Apple Annie into a socialite when she learns that her daughter is about to marry into royalty. Period of Adjustment. A corrupt sheriff, who was born on Christmas Day, decides to change his ways and go against the most powerful man in town. A butler helps finance his employer's charitable activities through a variety of illicit schemes, including a plan to rob Gimbels department store on Christmas Eve.

The Lion in Winter. Christmas is the setting for palace intrigues with Henry II of England and family. My Night at Maud's. Devout Catholic Jean-Louis falls in love with a fellow parishioner, but encounters temptation at a Christmas dinner hosted by the seductive Maud. Silent Night, Bloody Night. A series of murders occur in a small New England town on Christmas Eve, after a man inherits a family estate which was once an insane asylum. Black Christmas. Remade in A spoiled school-girl runs away from home at Christmas, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes.

Ralphie has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder B. The lives of an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet. Merry Christmas, Mr. Don't Open till Christmas. A serial killer butchers men dressed as Santa Claus.

A boy inadvertently breaks 3 important rules concerning his new Christmas present and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town preparing for Christmas. Silent Night, Deadly Night. Jack Deth comes down the line to ; Los Angeles, Christmas time.

A college student John Cusack plans a cross-country trip to get laid, but ends up traveling with a young woman Daphne Zuniga. They hate each other, so naturally An angel shows a young mother the true meaning of Christmas. Santa Claus: The Movie. The story of where Santa Claus came from and his attempts to save Christmas after his elf gets mixed up with an evil toy tycoon. The Princess Bride. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. The younger sibling of the teenager who killed while dressed as Santa carries on in his brother's bloody footsteps.

Die Hard [5]. Ernest Saves Christmas. A modern, dark-humored interpretation of Dickens' story, with Christmas spirits visiting a cynical, selfish television executive, played by Bill Murray. A child genius spends Christmas Eve defending himself and his grandfather from a psychotic home invader dressed like Santa Claus. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The Griswold family plans turn to disaster, this time at Christmas.

Third film in the Vacation series. Refusing to give up her belief in Santa Claus, a child, Jessica Riggs Rebecca Harrell , discovers a hurt reindeer in the woods, which she believes to be Prancer. An eight-year-old boy is mistakenly left behind during Christmas and has to defend his house against two burglars. All I Want for Christmas. Peter Pan is now an adult and must save his children from Captain Hook.

Around Christmas, cynical detective and a disgraced quarterback team up to take down a professional sports betting syndicate. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The Nightmare Before Christmas. Look Who's Talking Now.

Bickering spouses annoy the cat burglar who takes them hostage in their Connecticut home before Christmas dinner with the family. When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. While You Were Sleeping. Lonely transit worker Lucy pulls her longtime crush, Peter, from the path of an oncoming train. When Lucy doesn't correct them, they take her into their home and confidence.

How the Toys Saved Christmas. The story follows some toys as they struggle to avoid the heartless Mr. Grimm, that plans to auction off the toys to the highest bidder, and to find their true homes. The Preacher's Wife. I'll Be Home for Christmas. A son in college has not been home since his mother died and his father remarried. His father offers his vintage car if he is home by a certain time for Christmas.

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with the other man's girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself a reluctant participant in a casino heist. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. A wealthy bachelor wakes up on Christmas to find that he has been transported to an alternate reality where he is a mere tire salesman, with a wife and kids.

He is living in a middle-class suburban neighborhood. A man John Cusack and a woman Kate Beckinsale meet on Christmas Eve circa and reunite a decade later on the same day. A sequel to The Santa Clause. Elf [7]. A girl's aunt tells her a story of a girl named Katie who loved ice skating and befriended a reindeer named Blizzard.

Eight very different couples and their love lives intertwine during a hectic month before Christmas in London. Christmas with the Kranks. When a suburban couple decide to forgo Christmas festivities, preferring to take a cruise to the Caribbean instead, their neighbours refuse to allow such Scrooge-like behaviour.

The Polar Express. A magical train takes a boy and other children up to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. An adaptation of the beloved children's book. While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man Ryan Reynolds comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with -- a woman Amy Smart whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womanizer.

A shady lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. A film set around the informal Christmas truce on the Western Front during Christmas Set around Christmas, a group of New Yorkers struggle with their careers, love lives and the effects of the AIDS epidemic on their community. Santa Claus is actually a demon who lost a bet with an Angel, so he becomes the giver of toys and happiness. But when the bet is off, he returns to his evil ways. Sorority sisters are stalked and murdered on Christmas Eve in this remake of the thriller.

Deck the Halls. Rival neighbors duke it out when one of them decides to light his house up so it can be seen from outer space. Two women swap homes at Christmastime after bad breakups with their boyfriends. Unaccompanied Minors. What Would Jesus Buy? A documentary focusing on the commercialization of Christmas. Nothing like the Holidays. The troubled Vuillard family is no stranger to illness, grief, and banishment, but when their matriarch requires a bone-marrow transplant, the estranged clan reunites just in time for Christmas.

Everybody's Fine. Against the advice of his doctor, Frank sets out on a road trip to reconnect with his offspring for Christmas. Home for Christmas. Set in the small Norwegian town of Skogli, this film looks at those who are desperately trying to re connect with their families. The Nutcracker in 3D.

Santa's 41-million mile journey in his sleigh - and other fun Christmas facts

Set in s Vienna, this a tale of a little girl, whose godfather gives her a special doll one Christmas Eve. Live-action 3D adaptation of the ballet. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. A Spielberg-ian horror romp with an Christmas twist. Santa's youngest son must deliver a bicycle to an overlooked girl before Christmas morning dawns.

Stoner buddies Harold and Kumar cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold's father-in-law's prized Christmas tree. Christmas in Compton. Am aspiring music manager causes trouble for his father's Christmas tree business in an attempt to prove he can be a success. Last Ounce of Courage. Silent Night. The Best Man Holiday. A street-wise teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives. The Christmas Candle. In , an English village copes with the disappearance of a supposedly miraculous candle.

Based on the novel by Max Lucado. A Madea Christmas. Madea Tyler Perry dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on rural town when she is coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas. Christmas Cruelty! Tony Stark deals with posttraumatic stress disorder caused by the events of The Avengers , while investigating a string of terrorist attacks led by the mysterious Mandarin , and comes into a conflict with an old enemy: Aldrich Killian.

While out of prison on parole, a man reluctantly takes a job selling Christmas trees with his old buddy in order to make enough money to buy his estranged daughter the piano she has always wanted. A Merry Friggin' Christmas. Boyd Mitchler and his family must spend Christmas with his estranged family of misfits.

Upon realizing that he left all his son's gifts at home, he hits the road with his dad in an attempt to make the 8-hour round trip before sunrise. All Through the House. A Christmas Horror Story. The film is a series of interwoven stories tied together by a framework story, featuring William Shatner as a radio DJ. Comedy horror film based upon the legendary Christmas demon, and alter ego of Santa Claus.

When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday. The Night Before. An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman over the Christmas holidays in s New York. Almost Christmas.

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Office Christmas Party.

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When the CEO tries to close her hard-partying brother's branch, he and his Chief Technical Officer must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs. A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when Ned Fleming Bryan Cranston realizes that his daughter's millionaire boyfriend James Franco is about to pop the question.

Ashley travels to the suburban home of the Lerners to babysit their year-old son Luke during the holidays. She must soon defend herself and the young boy when unwelcome intruders announce their arrival. The Man Who Invented Christmas. In , author Charles Dickens sets out to write and self-publish a novel that he hopes will revive his career. A Bad Moms Christmas. A Christmas sequel to Bad Moms. A Christmas sequel to Daddy's Home. Just Getting Started. A former defense lawyer and a former FBI agent team up to stop the mafia and save Christmas at the Villa Capri resort.

A computer-animated adventure comedy based on the Nativity of Jesus. A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. Anna and the Apocalypse. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The Christmas Chronicles. The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. Noelle [10]. The story revolves Santa's daughter Anna Kendrick who is forced to take over the family business when her father decides to retire and brother Bill Hader ends up getting cold feet prior to his first big Christmas Eve flight.

The story begins when Santa Claus goes missing while delivering presents on Christmas Eve. His wife, Margie Claus Melissa McCarthy , must then put together an unlikely rescue team and set off from the North Pole for the first time in decades to rescue Santa and save Christmas. A Christmas Carol. Mickey's Christmas Carol. Scrooged [12]. A modern, dark-humored interpretation of Dickens' story, with Christmas spirits visiting a cynical, selfish TV exec, played by Bill Murray.

The Muppet Christmas Carol. Jim Henson 's creations tackle Charles Dickens ' festive favorite. Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger. Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? Nativity Rocks! This Ain't No Silent Night. The 12 Disasters of Christmas. A woman must prevent the end of the world on December 21, , by understanding the hidden message in the song " The Twelve Days of Christmas ". Krampus: The Reckoning. A child psychologist investigates the connection between a mysterious young girl and Krampus , the Christmas Devil.

A family is terrorized by Krampus while visiting relatives for Christmas. A series of murders occurs shortly before Christmas, after a man inherits a house once owned by his grandfather. Disney's The Christmas Star. A woman finds herself caught in a Christmas time loop , and tries to figure out how to break the cycle.

The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue. In , three children travel to Washington in the hope of convincing President Hoover to release their wrongly-convicted father from jail in time for Christmas.