Many children around the world are excited that Santa Claus will be visiting their house next week leaving behind toys and goodies. Of course, Santa is not real, but has become a myth based on a real-life person who lived centuries ago. Here are some sources on the read Saint Nicholas:
The saint who would be Santa was, in real life, no magical gift-giver or maker of toys. He was a compassionate Christian pastor, a sharp politician, and a patron of the people. He proved capable of calling out crooked judges, standing eye to eye with military commanders, and overseeing major construction projects. He lived through trials and anti-Christian persecutions, witnessed the rise of Emperor Constantine, experienced the drama of the first major ecumenical council of the church, and had a hand in the downfall of pagan polytheism. His story has little to do with the North Pole, woolly reindeer, or the wishes of children from “The Saint Who Would Be Santa” by Adam C. English (MVCC Colleague ID requred from off campus).
For additional info, take a look at the Wikipedia entry for Saint Nicholas.