Happy holiday to those who, like my family, celebrate the turning of the year, the longest night, before the days begin to lengthen.
In northern Scandinavia where the Saami people live, a tradition that precedes Christianity in the time at the winter solstice when the sun never rises over the horizon. Though this is only a single "2day" long night near the arctic circle, as you go farther north it may be 5 days before and after, especially where either mountains raise the horizon to the south.
Banks of clouds or blowing snow can extend this dark time too, so some years even well below the arctic the sun may not appear for weeks.
This is the source of the 5000 or more year old tales of the Creator Goddess Bewei who rides down the light beams of the Aurora Borealis in a sleigh made of curved whale ribs and reindeer ribs pulled by magical flying reindeer. Her passenger is her daughter, who will one day take responsibility for all the encampments of people in all the towns below the Goddesses' home at the top of the world ( north pole). In this long night which may last 2 weeks, they visit every settlement, bring gifts of food and oils(think whale oil and other ) to burn to keep the light and the cooking and heating fires going.
As they go from one place to another they bring greetings from distant family, and where one nomadic reindeer herding group has a surplus of food this year, they pick it up and pass it on, to those having a hard year.
Thus traditions of family finishing their journey with herds and returning home to wintering grounds. Hunkered in with family, visiting each other and feasting. Below the arctic where there are trees they cut and haul wood by sledge , with their own earth bound reindeer, supplementing the animal oils and fats to last the winter.
And any stranger or visitors from their own or other groups are treated to a feast in exchange for telling new stories.
Not hard to see how this legend, crossed with the real St. Nicholas, merged to become Santa Claus.
Enjoy the company of family and friends, eat well and be happy. Wag