Happy St. Nicholas day! Being raised Catholic my family has always celebrated St. Nicholas Day. On the eve of Dec 5th we always put out our shoes by the door in hopes good old St. Nicholas would stop by our house to fill our shoes with treats if we deserved them. Moving to the south I discovered a lot of people don’t know who St. Nicholas is and why we celebrate who he was and most importantly what he stood for: his faith in Jesus Christ. Santa Clause is jolly and great and all but to me he is so commercialized now that there is no religion in Santa which is crazy because they originated Santa from St. Nicholas. Some quick information who St. Nicholas was: He dedicated his life to serving God and gave everything he had to help the poor and sick. St. Nicholas was one of the many bishops and priest imprisoned during this time because of their Christianity faith Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian. St. Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, and his love for children.
There are many stories of St. Nicholas good dead’s but the most common is the story about a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver (Source)
I hear many stories about parents not using the whole Santa as a part of Christmas because they believe it is taking the true meaning of Christmas away, which I agree with our commercialized Santa that we are allowed to use in school and businesses. But we can choose to teach our children about a man who followed Jesus’s words by giving to others in need and staying true to our beliefs. I now have a family of my own that I get to continue the tradition with, I even fill my husbands shoes with treats.