The popularity of the Santa Claus character as Americans knew him rose during World War II as U.S. troops dressed as Santa and passed out food and gifts to children in war ravaged Europe and Japan.
Nowadays that famous red and white suit worn by someone with a white beard, whether, skinny or fat, can be seen practically around the globe.
Despite one's own belief, nothing perhaps symbolizes the Christmas holiday season as prominently as the image of Santa Clause.
As a photo editor, I'm always awed around this time of year to see the diversity in the flood of Santa Claus images from around the world representing many different cultures and scenarios.
The gallery represented here are my top 20 Santa Clause photos from our own Tampa Bay and beyond.
Assistant Managing Editor - Photography/Multimedia