Newswise — "His coming makes the children sick with anticipation and when he arrives in the dead of the night, he spoils them rotten with candy and toys. He is a grand figure of a man, conspicuous both in consumption and distribution. He is a one-man economic upturn who lives in the land of the midnight sun, where the daytime is 24 hours long. He had to take up residence there because his production schedule required more than a regulation day to meet demand. His stock, however doesn't appear in Standard and Poor's, and even though he's always in the red, no one, not even the elves, has ever attempted a leverage buyout. He's solvent. He's Santa Claus." Frank Riga, PhD.

Frank Riga, PhD, professor emeritus of English at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, has conducted extensive research into the origins of Santa Claus, including investigating how Santa's look has evolved over the years into the big jolly man in the red suit that we know and love. Did you know that America actually imported the image of Santa Claus form a jolly Saint in Holland? And, we owe the great political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, for the image of Santa entering the house by way of the chimney, filling stockings with candy and toys and flying away in his reindeer-drawn sled.

Says Riga, "Santa is big in size and soul and it took Americans to celebrate him properly."

Dr. Riga has also conducted extensive research into the origins of other gift givers across different cultures, including LaBefana of Italy, Pere Noel of France, and Baboushka of Russia. He has also conducted research about the Three Kings.

If you would like to speak with Dr. Riga on any of these topics, contact Eileen Herbert in the Office of Public Relations at Canisius College at 716-888-2791.

Dr. Riga has been interviewed extensively on the subject and will provide an enthusiastic and knowledgeable interview filled with interesting anecdotes.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders " intelligent, caring, faithful individuals able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.

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