Information about Christmas Elves Making ToysWiki source
They were first introduced in literature by Louisa May Alcott in 1856.
The Santa Claus character is much older, emerging in US folklore in the early 17th century from the historical figure St. Nicholas of Myra with attributes of various European Christmas traditions, especially from English Father Christmas and Dutch Sinterklaas.
The association of Christmas presents with elves has precedents in the first half of the 19th century with the Tomte in Sweden and Nisse in Denmark, and St Nicholas himself is called an elf in A Visit from St. Nicholas (1823).
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