There are several stories about how St. Nicholas (Macedonian:Sveti Nikola) was named Santa Claus. To this day we've heard many different ones, but which one is the real one? How did a bishop and a  saint become a symbol of the celebration of the Christmas holidays and advertisements? History tells the story.

A man named Nikola 

 The man who lived in the 4th century in the place Mira, then Greek, and today a Turkish place, was a bishop. He was the only child of his parents, Nina and Theofan. His name Nikola, translated means "winner". As a child, he admired the Scripture and began to study it  After studying, he began to dedicate himself to Bible teaching and apply it in the real world. His parents taught him to be devoted to Christianity, to which he actually devoted his whole life. When his parents died, he was still young, and they left him a large sum of money, which he spent to help others.

The first story about give and help

There is an interesting story that tells of his good and miraculous deeds. It is the story of a man who had two daughters. His daughters were already adults, it was time for them to get married, and he needed a dowry to marry them. In those days, a dowry was given to the groom by the bride's parents. The man was poor, he had no dowry money and his daughters could not get married. One evening, Nicholas secretly threw a bag of gold coins into their chimney. He repeated the same for his second daughter. Doing the same for his second daughter, he was discovered by the curious father. Although he asked the man not to reveal his identity, after a while he was revealed. Thus, after people suddenly received money or some kind of gifts for children, they knew they were from him. In addition to helping the children, he also helped the sailors. From then on, sailors and other people prayed for his help while they were at sea. He was canonized because of his goodness.

How St. Nicholas became Santa Claus?

 The story of the origin of his name actually begins with the above-mentioned bishop, who continued in the footsteps of Jesus "sell what you have and give it to the poor." He used what his parents left him to help others — the sick, the afflicted, and the poor. After the persecution of the Christians, the bishop was imprisoned by Diocletian. He survived prison by believing in Jesus. When he returned, he ascended the throne again as Christian Bishop. He defended Christianity from Arianism. During the Victorian period, he wore his red mantle. He had them in many colors, but red was his favorite. With his good deeds, he left an impression all over Europe, and then in America, where the connection with today's white-bearded man begins. 

 The new name of the Christian bishop evolves from the Dutch name "Sinter Klaas", which is actually an abbreviated form of the saint's name. In 1804, John Pintard, a member of the Historical Society of New York, engraved the image of the Christian benefactor on a wooden background at their annual meeting. The woodwork contains a picture of today's modern picture we have. The background of the picture was with a fireplace, and above the fireplace were socks, with which people today decorate their homes for Christmas and New Year, along with their Christmas tree. In 1809, Washington Irving, in his book The History of New York, described the bishop as a "patron saint" of New York, which was a contribution to popularizing the story of his existence. Later, in 1823, another song was released, entitled "The Night Before Christmas". This Christmas song, which is known to all Christians today, was written by Clement Clark Moore. Moore was initially hesitant about releasing the song because of the content and also because of the image it would convey to people. 

This song of his is less to blame for the image we have of the man in the red suit today - an old, happy, small man. Although Moore's content may have been taken from other resources, it has been a major contributor to its popularity. As I mentioned, in North America, the name appears as a result of the Dutch name "Santa Klaas", which in American reads "Santa Claus", which actually proves how small the difference is, and to some extent indicates the origin of the name. In the middle of the 19th century, ie. back in 1863, cartoonist Thomas Nast first painted Santa Claus in a red suit with white fur, a thick white beard and a pipe. From then on, he started making drawings every year in the red, and today famous costume. 
St. Nicholas in Harper's Weekly: January 1881

 Santa and Coca Cola 
  Since appearing on billboards and in their commercials, people still think that this character was invented by Coca Cola. In the mid-20th century, in 1920, the character of Santa Claus first appeared in a Coca-Cola Christmas commercial and was associated with Christmas shopping. The first painted Santa Claus was serious. Ten years later, in the 1930s, Fred Mizen portrayed Santa Claus in a crowd at a clothing store drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola. Since then, their ads have changed, as has his character. Over the years, the company has changed his face, made him look happier in advertising. That happiness transforms us during the holidays. In this way he actually became synonymous with the Christmas holidays, which shows the fact why people began to think that his character was invented by this company. 

Saint Nicholas in Macedonia
  Although his day was originally celebrated on December 6, today it is celebrated on other dates. During the summer, as well as during the winter holidays, the churches are visited and candles are lit. December the 19th, known as the winter Sveti Nikola holiday and  May the 22nd, a feast known as summer Sveti Nikola.
 In Prilep, he is considered the protector of the city, and in Sveti Nikole, on the day of the holiday, a city holiday is celebrated, while in the Bigorski Monastery, is kept a part of his powers. What is even more interesting, people and fishermen didn't enter Lake Dojran as well as the boats on this day. Regarding his powers to protect people traveling on the seas, Marko Cepenkov wrote: "This saint is on the seas, to guard people from the waves of the sea, so that they don't drown." Oh his day, boats around the world stop sailing. Macedonian folk songs sing about him as a guardian of the seas and builder of churches and monasteries.
On St.Nicholas day, lean food is served and fish is obligatory.