Do you envision Santa Claus as a jolly old man with rosy cheeks and a bouncing belly? Do you imagine him flying from chimney to chimney and pulled by eight reindeer? And do you know those reindeer have names like Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen? Much of what we consider to be the all-American St. Nick derives from "A Visit from St. Nicholas," a poem first published 198 years ago this month -- December 23, 1823, to be exact -- in the Troy Sentinel, a newspaper based in a small city just north of Albany, New York.
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