Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer


Our Favorite Ghost: Santa Claus

Santa Claus, an immigrant of Greek and Dutch origin, has done very well in the Big Apple. New York City writers and cartoonists created the familiar figure we have today. Originally, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of Amsterdam, the Netherlands brought his gifts to good children and left a lump of coal to bad children on December 6. The good saint had his origins in the eastern Mediterranean where he helped furnish dowries for poor women to get married. In 1625, the Dutch brought their Christmas traditions to New Amsterdam when they founded their settlement at the tip of Manhattan Island. In 1810, Samuel Pintard, of an old English family, repackaged Christmas as a family day celebration in place of the public drunken celebrations of New Year. His friend Washington Irving in Gramercy Park described the gift giving qualities of the elf, renamed Santa…