We’ve all heard the stories. Kids all around the world send letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole to ask for presents in exchange for good behavior

The letters couldn’t just go to Santa — they had to be mailed to the North Pole: Santa’s headquarters. Filled with Arctic chill, hardworking elves, red-nosed reindeer and Santa’s workshop, the North Pole is a magical place.

But how did the myth of the North Pole come to be? How did Santa’s ground zero become the North Pole?

Let’s start with Santa.

Saint Nick didn’t begin as the plump, jolly, white-bearded man we all know today


A Russian depiction of Santa from 1294. Not exactly holly and jolly.

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