The legend of Santa Claus coming down the chimney may have come from Russia. In Siberia the wood houses were buried in snow in the winter. People came and went through a hole in the ceiling that was also the smoke hole. They had no chimney as such. In ancient lore their Shaman (medicine man) would "spiritually" leave (often drug induced) through this hole to communicate with the gods. He had a supernatural reindeer to protect him. As Christianity and the stories of St. Nicholas were introduced, Nickolai Chudovorits (the Wonder Worker) became the super Shaman and he would travel on his reindeer and come through the hole in the roof.
I don't recall seeing any drawings of Nickolai Chudovorits so for my Russian "Santa" I have tried to represent their Father Frost. By tradition he is all dressed in white and is usually accompanied by the Snow Princess.
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