We're all aware that Santa Claus is based on the very real St. Nicholas of Myra, correct? He was a 5-foot-tall Greek guy with a broken nose, he lived in modern-day Turkey around A.D. 200 to 300 and he was renowned for his generosity, his kindness to children, and generally behaving like the reigning champion of a hobo bare-knuckle boxing league.
"I wish you a knuckle sandwich, and a happy throat-punch."
But time warps all, of course. The Santa Claus we know nowadays is a stout, lily-white guy in a bizarre velvet suit who's loved by children for enslaving hundreds of Legolas' cousins. And truth be told, all St. Nick and Santa Claus have in common these days is the white beard.
3St. Nick Was a Rowdy Bastard
Yes, the real Santa was truly a rough-and-tumble son of a bitch. His exploits may have been embellished over the years, but the guy was constantly in and out of jail and tortured. The fact that his face was pretty much a pulverized shank of lamb at his death gives validity to the hardness of his lifestyle, particularly that time he clocked a bishop in the face for saying that Jesus wasn't divine enough.
Soumela Monastery via FrJody.com
Someone in Turkey even made a lovely fresco of this sucker punch.