Father Christmas's helper takes its origins from the story that St Nicholas liberated an Ethiopian slave boy called Piter from a Myra market. The boy was so grateful that he decided to stay with the Saint as his helper. In Northern European folklore Father Christmas is helped by elves – mythical creatures from Norse mythology.
Elves include all kinds of fairies, especially tiny humans that are somewhat young and mischievous. Formerly belonging to a line of minor gods of nature and fertility, elves are frequently pictured as young-looking men and women of great beauty living in forests and other natural places, underground, or in wells and springs.