Santa Claus or Father Christmas is derived from Nikolaus, who was Bishop of Myra in Turkey, and was canonised as Saint Nicholas. He owes his present appearance with the large white beard, twinkling eyes and red costume to the drawings of the American Thomas Nast, who created the figure as the generous giver of gifts in 1863. That is how we have known Santa Claus ever since. From the book “We are all equal”, by Finn Nygaard. Author Elsebeth Aasted Schanz, PhD, Manager and curator of the Danish Poster Museum.