Today is Saint Nicholas Day, which is celebrated by many Christian traditions throughout the world. In our family, the kids awaken to a gift (or three, it keeps growing) in their stockings, followed by a savory dinner later in the day.
Wait, you don’t know about this?
Long before Santa Claus sat in shopping malls waiting to have his picture taken, there was a man named Nicholas, the Bishop for the city of Myra in Asia Minor.
He was first an orphan, and then studied and became a priest, remembered and celebrated for selling his own possessions and giving away the proceeds to help those who were in need.
Over time his legend grew, feasts were held in his remembrance, and in the 1100’s AD some nuns began giving candy to children on this day. Today, every kid (and dentist) owes those nuns a degree of gratitude!
The legend of Saint Nick has changed with time, and you most likely associate him with a large laughing man flying his sleigh led by magical reindeer delivering presents to children around the world.
But the real Saint Nick, the orphan boy who became a Bishop and gave everything he had to help others… that’s the guy we are celebrating today!
Happy Saint Nicholas Day!