Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

WedDec 4

Santa’s List Day – December 4, 2024

Santa’s List Day is on December 4 every year. In a world of excessive list-making, this is the list that counts! It’s the day when Santa puts together his list of naughty or nice children. The ones on the nice list receive toys, candy, and other presents on Christmas Eve. The naughty children may find coal in their stockings or not much at all! But how can one man pull this off? He has help, of course. Santa’s trusty elves keep watch all year and make toys for nice children. Despite the two lists, Santa remains jolly and generous, in keeping with the season’s spirit. Still, being nice is always a good thing.

History of Santa’s List Day

The story of Santa’s List Day and how it began has several versions. Perhaps like the story of the man himself, Santa’s List Day is an amalgamation of numerous histories and folklore traditions. Santa’s List Day marks the day he makes a list of naughty and nice children, and the proverbial list lets him decide what to bring each child for Christmas. To understand how Santa’s List Day began, let’s delve into the history of the man himself. The origins of Santa Claus are steeped in folklore. We know him as the jolly man in red who brings presents to children each Christmas; however, his story goes back to numerous Christmas traditions.

Most people believe that Santa Claus was a monk named St Nicholas who lived during the third century. Over time, St Nicholas became known as the protector of children and sailors. The story of St Nicholas adapted through the age. By the 18th century, the legend of St Nicholas made inroads into American popular culture when Dutch families gathered to honor the death anniversary of ‘Sinterklaas’ (Dutch for St Nicholas). Gift-giving and Santa Claus’ role in all of it became a part of Christmas tradition in the 19th century. Santa Claus was everywhere – from the streets of New York to shopping malls and advertisements.

But the defining moment came with Clement Mark Moore’s poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The poem describes a jolly old man flying from house to house, shimmying up and down chimneys with ease to leave presents for deserving children – also known as the ones on his nice list.

Santa’s List Day timeline

280 A.D.
The Origins of Santa Claus

The compassionate St Nicholas becomes a household name in Europe.

‘Sinterklaas’ Comes to Town

Dutch families gather in New York City to honor St Nicholas’ death anniversary.

Santa Claus in Shopping Malls

People visit the malls in droves to see life-size Santa Claus models.

Macy’s Santa in New York

Fans of all ages line up to meet the first Macy Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas.

Santa’s List Day FAQs

What are Santa’s two lists?

The nice list contains names of children who have been good all year, and the naughty list (usually shorter) has names of children who haven’t been on their best behavior. Santa’s elves help him prepare these two lists.

Is Santa’s name Santa?

Santa Claus is the Americanized and more popular name for Father Christmas. The original name comes from the Dutch ‘Sinterklaas,’ short for St Nicholas.

Is Santa real?

The Santa Claus we’re familiar with today is based on the story of St Nicholas, a real monk who lived in modern-day Turkey during the third century.

Santa’s List Day Activities

  1. Do something nice today

    Run an errand for your neighbors. Pay someone a compliment. Show Santa you deserve to be on the nice list.

  2. Make your own nice list

    Instead of a Christmas to-do list, how about a list of all the amazing things you achieved this year?

  3. Bake some cookies

    Santa loves cookies. Everyone loves cookies. Get the kids involved and bake up a storm in your kitchen. Guaranteed happiness for everyone!

5 Facts About Christmas That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Jingle Bells was a Thanksgiving song

    James Lord Pierpont, a Unitarian church organist from Georgia, first performed ‘Jingle Bells’ at a Thanksgiving concert in his church.

  2. Santa has a Canadian postcode

    Anyone keen on exchanging letters with Santa can send him a letter to Santa Claus, North Pole, HOH OHO, Canada.

  3. Eggnog goes back to the 13th century

    The signature holiday beverage was called ‘posset’ in the Medieval ages.

  4. ‘Silent Night’ has close to 750 versions

    It’s the most recorded Christmas carol in history, with different versions popping up every year.

  5. There are 630 kinds of Christmas trees

    Besides Douglas fir, balsam fir, and Fraser fir, there are hundreds of other conifer varieties.

Why We Love Santa’s List Day

  1. Creating family traditions

    Santa’s List Day gets us in the Christmas spirit before the actual holidays. Everyone in the family can join in the fun together.

  2. Setting the stage for Christmas

    Christmas is magical, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Santa’s List Day can act as a gentle reminder to the kids to turn it all around!

  3. The whimsy we need

    Santa’s List Day brings much-needed magic to our lives. It’s nice to slow down and live a charming story. No questions asked, simply allowing the magic of the season to take over.

Santa’s List Day dates

2024December 4Wednesday
2025December 4Thursday
2026December 4Friday
2027December 4Saturday
2028December 4Monday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.