Old English folklore compares him to the bearded god named Woden, the god of the pagan Anglo-Saxons, which derived from the Scandinavian God Odin, who brought gifts and good cheer.

In the early 19th century, the Dutch had settled all along the East Coast of America. Bringing their customs to New Amsterdam, later called New York. It was around that time that Sinterklaas became Santa Claus and was named Patron Saint of New York in 1804 by John Pintard, a patriot and antiquarian. During this time, Santa was often shown wearing various different colors of green, purple and blue, as well as the traditional red.

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During the 20th century, Santa was mostly depicted wearing the color red with white trim. He had been the subject of a number of paintings by Norman Rockwell and appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman in 1921. By the 1940’s Coca-Cola solidified the image of Santa wearing red and white with a series of popular advertisements showing Santa enjoying their product.