I have come across this on The Times and Seasons Blog. It's under "Get thee hence, Santa". I have copy and pasted because I think it is very interesting.More detail than I had heard before.
"Yes, my child, it is very likely that he is real, but people have changed him a lot over time. You see, ‘Santa’ really means saint and ‘Claus’ is actually the nickname for Nicholas. The real Santa Claus was actually the bishop of a small city called Myrna which was in the country we now call Turkey. Nicholas was a very kind, caring and loving bishop for all of the members in his ‘ward’ or church. He was born to a very wealthy family and when his parents died he became a rich man. Nicholas had a very strong testimony of the Saviour and truly believed in Jesus’ teaching that, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto ME.” So when ever he saw a person or a family in need in his church he took some of his money and secretly gave it to them. One simple way he did this was to put the coins, usually gold or silver, in a small bag with a tie string. He then waiting until the family was asleep and then toss the money through their window. Once, it is said, the bag of coins landed in a sock that was drying out after being washed and this is thought to be how the custom began to hang stockings at Christmas. Throughout his whole life Nicholas continued to give his money away anonymously (secretly) to all that he knew needed it. When he died his fortune was gone but the fame of his kindness and generosity became a legend. It was in the 1800’s when artists began to draw Saint Nicholas without his religious robes and started to show him in a fur trimmed suit. It was the Dutch who called him in their language “Sinta Klaus” and the English who changed this to “Santa Claus”. Saint Nicholas was living the Gospel to the best of his understanding by sharing his wealth with the poor, just as the Saviour gave us all of His wealth, the gift of forgiveness after sincere repentance and the gift of eternal life with Him and our Father in heaven. So when you see the jolly fat man with the long white beard and the red suit, remember that fellow is a bit of a fantasy cartoon character but Saint Nicholas was a real bishop who lived a long time ago and who loved his ‘ward’ members very, very much."
Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — 12/22/2008 @ 10:54 pm