It is believed that the real St. Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. According to legend, his extraordinary kindness led him to give away all of his inherited wealth as he traveled the countryside helping the sick and poverty-stricken. Admiration for his philanthropy eventually grew into the legend of Santa Claus.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally created for Montgomery Ward department stores as part of a promotional gimmick. They hired a writer named Robert L. May in 1939 to write a Christmas story which could be given away to holiday shoppers. May's brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, liked the story and decided to write a song to go with it. The resulting "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", eventually recorded in 1949 by Gene Autry, has become a Christmas classic.
Mrs. Claus, Santa's wife, was first introduced to the world in 1889 in the book Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride by the poet Katherine Lee Bates. In this story, Mrs. Claus pleads with Santa to take her along on the annual Christmas Eve sleigh ride to deliver toys to all the good little boys and girls. She reminds him that she has worked hard all year long raising perfect candy trees and deserves a chance to participate in the fun. Santa finally agrees, and Mrs. Claus's skills come in quite handy. When Santa finds one little boy's stocking that is too tattered to hold presents, Mrs. Claus pops down the chimney and mends the stocking, saving the day. Santa is a whiz when it comes to making toys, but apparently he can't sew!
According to the historical accounts of Captain John Smith, the first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in his 1607 Jamestown settlement. "Nog" was, apparently, a variation of the word "grog", which refers to any drink made with rum.