"Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen, when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even. Brightly shone the moon that night though the frost was cruel..."
Wenceslaus existed. Actually he was duke of Bohemia (he got a posthumous promotion by Holy Roman Emperor Otto I), and he was renowned for his piety and generosity to the poor. In fact, he was made a saint and is now the patron saint of the Czech Republic.
Sadly, he died in September 935 when a group of nobles led by his brother, Boleslav the Cruel, murdered him on his way to church — according to legend, he was holding this handle on the church door when he was struck down:
— Sue Burke