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Archaeologists in Turkey Believe They Are Digging Up the Original Santa Claus

Santa isn’t just a myth made up for kids on Christmas. He did exist and he did give generous gifts, though not via chimneys on Dec. 25, as popular legend tells it. By this time next year, you may even be able to visit him in his original setting, say Turkish archaeologists. What we know today as Santa Claus was originally Saint Nicholas, and he was traditionally celebrated on Dec. 6, the anniversary of his death. Born in the village Petara in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in the late third century, Nicholas was known for his literal and spiritual generosity. He inherited great wealth but gave away his riches, joining the Christian church and becoming a bishop in the the city of Myra.

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