Two days late for this – the Feast Day of St. Nicholas:
A day millions of Christian children around the world will wake up to shoes filled with small gifts and candy. In some regions, the day includes elaborate festivities of symbolic rituals to honor and celebrate the goodness and generosity of a great man born centuries ago.
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young.
Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man.
Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.