A — 2: stretches all the way back to
B — 4: became the subject of many legends
C — 3: is celebrated on the anniversary of
D — 5: appeared in American popular culture
E — 7: began to advertise Christmas shopping
F — 1: was only a matter of time
The man we know as Santa Claus has a history all to his own. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red, but his story __stretches all the way back to__ the 3rd century to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 AD in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his kindness, St. Nicholas __became the subject of many legends__. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day __is celebrated on the anniversary of__ his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe.
St. Nicholas first __appeared in American popular culture__ at the end of the 18th century. The name Santa Claus evolved from a Dutch shortened form of Sint Nikolaas. As his popularity grew, Sinter Klaas was described as everything from a jocker with a blue three-cornered hat, red waistcoat, and yellow stockings to a man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and a huge pair of Flemish trousers.
In the 19th centuries big stores __began to advertise Christmas shopping__ using images of the newly-popular Santa Claus. In 1841, thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model. It __was only a matter of time__ before stores began to attract children, and their parents, with the lure of a peek at the “real-life” Santa Claus with his famous white beard and red gown.