Santa Claus, that jolly fellow who races across the sky in his reindeer-pulled sleigh on Christmas Eve after judging who has been naughty or nice, needs no introduction. But his wife is another matter.

Mrs. Claus wasn’t always a part of the popular folklore surrounding good ol' Saint Nick. Santa used to be something of a loner, doing all the work by himself, but thankfully his wife came into the picture and began helping him out. It’s a good thing too, because delivering toys to all of the world’s good little boys and girls can take its toll on a man.

Mrs. Claus was first introduced to the public in 1849 in a Christmas story entitled "A Christmas Legend" by the American author James Reese. In the short story, Mr. and Mrs. Claus appear to be the ones delivering presents for a family, but the couple actually turns out to be long-absent relatives returning home in disguise.

From such humble origins, Mrs. Claus slowly began appearing in magazines and other stories. Around the turn of the 20th century, Mrs. Claus showed up in a picture book written by Katharine Lee Bates. Santa's wife only grew in popularity from there, culminating in the strong woman who serves as Santa Claus’s backbone today. Mrs. Claus helps Santa run his shop and build his toys all year long, then manages things at home while her husband is off taking his long Christmas ride.