Is Santa Claus Real?

The idea of Santa Claus seems too good to be true.

His existence is often met with skepticism, with some claims citing that he is a non-existent marketing gimmick particularly associated with the Coca-Cola brand.

Background

Santa Claus is a popular figure over Christmas festivities and has a specific appearance we are accustomed to. The same way, in a fact-check by Piga Firimbi here, Jesus has always looked a certain type of way and this would be hard to shake off.

Verification

Coca-Cola acknowledges that it did not invent Santa Claus. In fact, the existence of Santa Claus predates that of the Coca-Cola company. Neither does he wear red because he is associated with Coca-Cola.  The company did however popularise the idea of a ‘larger than life’ jolly, Santa Claus through its marketing.

“Prior to this, Santa had been portrayed in a variety of ways throughout history: tall and gaunt; short and elfin; distinguished and intellectual; even downright frightening,” reads a Coca-Cola company post.

The company commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom, to paint Santa for its Christmas advertisements. The new and refurbished Santa would have rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes and laughter lines.

“This grandfather-style Coca‑Cola Santa captivated the public and, as our adverts spread globally, the perception of the North Pole’s most-famous resident changed forever.”

" My Hat's Off to The Pause That Refreshes"

The origin of Santa Claus can be traced back to the existence of Saint Nikolaos of Myra – now called Turkey. He went around helping the poor and sick. According to History, the name Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas’ Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas. He died on December 6 and countries such as The Netherlands celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day every December 5, when kids are gifted by the ‘Sinterklaas’ based on their good behavior.

Verdict

YES, Santa Claus is a real person.

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Linda Ngari

Linda is a fact-checking and data journalist. She is currently the Piga Firimbi editor. She is passionate about acquiring and utilising OSINT tools and skills to tell stories that matter to a modern day tech-savvy audience in innovative ways.