St. Nicholas was reputed for secretly giving to the poor in the late third century. In some countries, anonymous seasonal gifts are attributed to him; in others, Father Christmas (French: Père Nöel), Father Frost (Russian: Ded Moroz - Дед Мороз, Belarusian: Дзед Мароз, Ukrainian Дід Мороз), the three wise men or the baby Jesus are attributed as secret gift givers.
There are multiple destinations named for Santa Claus or St. Nicholas, or named or known for various related themes such as the North Pole:
- Myra, Lycia is near what is now Demre. A St. Nicholas church is a centrepiece of the village.
- Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland is directly south of the Arctic Circle, with various Santa (Joulupukki in Finland) or reindeer-themed attractions.
- Mora (Sweden) operates a Santaworld theme park.
- North Pole (Alaska) and North Pole (New York), in the United States of America, host Santa-themed attractions.
- Santa Claus (Indiana) is directly south of Ferdinand in Southwestern Indiana, USA.
- Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada is home to a Santa Claus-themed amusement park.
- Drøbak, Norway claims to be home to "Julenissen", the Norwegian Santa. Savalen (20 km/12 mi west of Tynset) also claims to be one of the places where Santa Claus is living.
- (Grand)father Frost (Ded Moroz) and his granddaughter the Snow Maiden (Snegurochka), as Russia's counterpart to Santa Claus, are reputed to live in Arkhangelsk or Veliky Ustyug in Northwestern Russia.