According to Viking traditions, which carry over into modern Scandinavian Jul -- or Yule -- celebrations, Thor's personal transport was a flying wagon pulled by a team of horned goats.
'The idea of St. Nicholas got very much mixed in with Thor's transport when it comes to the sled with flying reindeer,' said Helge Soerheim of the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger.
Some say the idea of Father Christmas or Santa bringing gifts stems from Norse mythology, too, since the most powerful of the Viking gods, Odin, was credited with doing the exact same thing, according to the Norwegian research magazine Forskning.
Even though Christianity came to Scandinavia a millennium ago, modern celebrations of Christmas hark back to the pagan winter feast of Jul, which comes from the Norse word 'Jol' meaning fun and party. "
Ancient Jul was celebrated on December 21, then believed to be the longest night of the year. It was easy to shift to the Christian celebration that takes place December 24.