folklorehead.JPG (10005 bytes)

grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

** Note from the artist **

Below you will find condensed versions of the legends that accompany my Santa's.
The full folklore version will be shipped with the Santa.

You will find two varieties of stories that accompany my Santa's. Historical folklore & traditions originating from a Country, and the stories that I have created or embellished in order to fit my Santa creation.  My stories are used when no originating historical folklore exists for a particular Santa that I have created.

  1. Many Legends on this site have come from extensive research, including contacting the Embassy of several Countries and by interviewing individuals who have spent their childhood in those Countries.  These Santa Legends are from my research of historical folklore originating from a specific Country.

  2. Stories that I have created or embellished are listed with "© Copyright" such as the Southwestern Santa, River Santa, Rubezahl, African American and a few others are my vision of how Santa might have went about his task of delivering presents.  My stories listed with the "© Copyright" have been embellished using either historical knowledge of the era or have been taken from interviews with individuals who grew up in another country and used with their permission.   These few stories should not be taken as historical folklore!

Please be responsible when posting Santa Claus legends & folklore on your Christmas site. I am insistent on differentiating between actual historical folklore on this site and my personal created stories that I use to accompany my Santa's.  Many Santa Artists like myself, make up small stories to accompany their work when folklore is not available.  If you are not sure what folklore has been passed down through the ages or what stories have come from the minds of my fellow Santa artists or myself, please ask questions!  Santamakers in general are a friendly bunch of people and most of us are willing to help you! 

I've clearly marked which stories belong to Mountain Elves with a "© Copyright" so please, if your not sure, ask questions!  Do your research and remember, just because the same thing may be posted on 20 or more sites, does not make that information fact!  Help us stop the spread of misinformation and false folklore.

 I am quite fond of my Rubezahl Santa.  Actually, Rubezahl's  folklore roots are that of a gnome or mountain spirit.  My story of Rubezahl  comes from a friend and fellow artist, who grew up in Germany during WWII. Her mother had embellished the Rubezahl legend a bit when she was young, transforming the little gnome into a Santa figure of sorts.

As a child, my friend was told that Rubezahl lived in the woods and he would keep all the children safe who entered the forest (This part of the folklore is historically true and relates to the gnome figure).  

During Christmas season, he would hide in the attic or loft, and would spy on the children, reporting to Santa who was good or bad.  He also helped Santa deliver presents (This part of the legend is what her mother made up). 

The condensed version of her story that I have listed here, was only one parent's answer to keeping their children good during the holidays.  But please, this story should not be classified as a "historical" folklore or legend!  I was given permission to tell her story and I still use it on my Santa's today.  Please remember that  Rubezahl should not be classified as "historical German Santa folklore".  But if you do happen to see him out there wandering around the web, remember this story and pass on what you have learned! 


grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

artlogowv.gif (2075 bytes)

Do not copy any of the legends below to use on other websites 
or printed material without the permission of Mountain Elves.
Permission is never granted for use in conjunction with other Santa Dolls.
A link must be provided back to this site, when permission is granted.

E-mail: Click here for permission

If you have questions on this matter, please read:
"10 Big Myths about copyright explained"
U.S. Library of Congress copyright site

grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

Note:  Not all the Santa's below are linked to their folklore.
Follow the gold links to view condensed versions of the legends that accompany my Santa's, available here.

Jolly Old Elf
Civil War Santa
Santa Claus
Sking Santa
Pennsylvania Dutch


Father Krydda
Swedish Tompte

Pere Noel

grnlinevertical.jpg (2722 bytes) Russia
Russian Nicholas
Northern Europe
Knecht Ruprecht

North Pole
Eskimo Santa


Sinter Klaas
Zwarte Piet (Black Peter)


grnlinevertical.jpg (2722 bytes) Mongolian Asian
Tsai Sen Yeh

Bavarian Santa

Dedt Moroz

Grandfather Frost

Julenisse (Juletomte)

Victorian Santa
Father Christmas

grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

Jolly Old Elf (America) In 1809 Washington Irving
introduced the first American depiction of Santa Claus
in "Knickerbocker's History of New York". Irving's Santa is of Dutch origin, with baggy breeches, broad brimmed hat, magical long pipe and a habit of laying his finger alongside his nose and winking.

Pennsylvania Dutch- (America) The English
Dutch and German Dutch located in this area combined
their legends of Santa. Some called him Christkindle and others called him Kris Kringle. He would climb through open windows leaving presents.  On his departure he would ring a bell.
© Copyright 1986 - 2008 Mountain Elves

Civil War Santa - (America)  In late 1863 and
throughout 1864 the red, white and blue flag motif was
used in many unusual places in an effort to boost morale and patriotic spirits in the war-weary North. Both the North and the South used Santa to pass out propaganda material. After all, who is going to shoot Santa Claus!
© Copyright 1986 - 2008 Mountain Elves

Weinachtsmann - (Germany)
Meaning "Christmas Man".
On Dec. 6th, Saints Feast Day, children would leave their shoes on the doorstep. Weinachtsmann would fill the shoes with toys and gifts. In some parts of Germany he brought presents on Christmas Eve accompanied by Christkindle "Christ's Little Helper". Christkindle- (Germany) A boyish figure of no gender. On Christmas Eve he would help Weinachtsmann carry gifts, and would fill the good children's shoes with toys and gifts.

Rubezahl - (Germany)
"The watcher of the woods".
He would watch over children who entered the woods,
keeping them from getting lost and safe from harm. All year long he would make presents which he would pack into his sack at Christmas time and deliver to the children.
© Copyright 1986 - 2008 Mountain Elves

Zwarte Piet - (Black Peter) During the middle ages the Dutch referred to the devil as Black Peter. It was said that St. Nicholas put the devil in chains and made him his slave. St. Nicholas would have Black Peter drop candy and gifts down the chimneys into the children's shoes on St. Nicholas Eve, which is a few weeks before Christmas.. The practice was eventually carried over to Christmas itself.

Swedish Tompte - (Sweden) Tompte's are elves who live deep in the forest. At Christmas time they make ornaments from wheat to decorate the trees. They also deliver gifts to the good children. Tompte's were always seen accompanied by a goat made of wheat, called a "Julback".

Eskimo Santa - (North Pole)
Santa would leave toys and goodies to good children with the help of his companions the snow babies. His "Snow Baby" helpers are believed to be the result of Peary's first North Pole expedition. Mrs. Peary gave birth to a Caucasian baby girl, and the Eskimos would travel for many miles to view her fair skin. They called the baby "Ah-Poo-Mickaninny",  which translates to Snow Baby.
© Copyright 1986 - 2008 Mountain Elves

Tsai Sen Yeh - (Mongolian-Asian Santa)
Herdsmen's Day, is celebrated with feasting and the
exchanging of small gifts by the family. Many other Oriental ethnic groups (those touched by the Mongols), were influenced by the tradition of these year-end celebrations. Tsai Sen Yeh appears at the end of the feast and gives gifts of money to the children.

Dedt Moroz - (Siberia) Known as Father Ice. There once was a woman who had two stepdaughters, one kind and the other wicked. One day in a fit of rage, the stepmother threw the kind daughter out in the cold. Dedt Moroz appeared on his sleigh and, impressed with her kindness, rewarded her with diamonds. After hearing about this, the mother put her wicked stepdaughter out in the snow. The wicked girl threw a tantrum, which irritated Dedt Moroz so much that he turned her into ice.

Father Christmas - ( England )
Originated in the 1600’s. Carrying a lantern, Father Christmas would go from house to house peeping into windows and watching the children to see if they were being good.  The well-behaved children, of course, would find gifts beneath the Christmas tree, left there by Father Christmas as a reward for doing their chores and minding their parents.

StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!

grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

Well.. It took 14 years, but  I guess Mr. Claus should be well on his way to the Clinton Presidential Library (as I was told, anyway).  Special thanks to the many West Virginia artists that contributed in the making of this special Santa!   If you would like to read about his journey which started in 1993, you can read about "Mr. Claus Goes To Washington" as reported in The Charleston Gazette Dec. 26, 1993.

Washington Santa (Small)     Washington Santa (Large)     


btnbookstore1.JPG (3496 bytes)
btnsantalistsm.JPG (4163 bytes)btncontact.JPG (4307 bytes)

grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

Last Updated: 10/30/08

Created: 3/21/97

Some folklore and all background & images by:
Mountain Elves © 1986 - 2008 Patricia McCarty all rights reserved.
For permission to use images or folklore

Website Design Services for Art & Crafts.
For information and prices contact: Mountain Elves

grnlinedark7.jpg (1193 bytes)

Hit Counter
Believer's who have visited this page since 11/20/00