There are as many versions of Santa Claus and his sidekicks as there are cultures that celebrate Yuletide. Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, Jule Nisse, Jouluppukki— these are just a few of the names for which he is known. What may surprise you is that Santa Claus has not always been a jolly ole elf or even humanoid. In fact, he has been depicted as an evil gnome, as well as a
goat! And as for his sidekicks, well, they are arguably more interesting than St. Nick. From the Netherlands’ white horse called Schimmel to the donkey of France and the Angels of Czechoslovakia, the companions of St. Nicholas run the gamut from beast to celestial being to human thug, from benevolent helper to scary monster. Whatever their form and demeanor, St. Nick’s companions travel alongside him to help him get the job of gift-giving done. In some cases, they are all about correcting bad
Check out the article I wrote describing some of Santa's fascinating sidekicks, alter egos, and cultural equivalents at the link below.