As kids, we were told of a mythical fat man that would bring us toys if we were good all year long; we would spend our days doing chores and being polite. Then, when Christmas arrived, we'd get socks and be pissed.
The figure of Santa Claus stems from Saint Nocholas, who was known for his devotion to the church and his charity. Over time, this somehow turned into a brightly colored pedophile in a shopping mall. The first image of Santa as we know him was depicted in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol as the ghost of Christmas present (Dickens could foresee the future and decided only to use his powers for puns). In this version, however, he wore a green coat and looked more like Jesus on a bad day.
"Hurry up captain, I've got shit to do."
Somewhere along the line, he bleached his hair started wearing red. This look was popularized by a certain soft drink company.
Finally, a tip to parents out there: When your kid starts asking how Santa can go to every house in the world all in one night, just start giving them a lecture about time zones. It works when you run over their pet too.