Today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas. He lived in what was then Greece during the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. His parents were very wealthy, but died when he was quite young. Having been raised as a devout Christian, he heeded Christ’s words and gave all his possessions to the poor and entered religious life, eventually becoming a bishop. He was known for his great generosity, including the legend of throwing coins into people’s homes, landing in their shoes and stockings.
From whence comes the tradition of Santa Claus. I never could figure out how Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas could be the same… they don’t sound like the same name at all! However, a little research will yield the fact that Santa Claus is a version of the Dutch version of St. Nicholas – “Sinterklaas.” And there we have it.
Imagine what a nice little tradition that was at one time. Before it turned into an orgy of covetous greed.
My sister and I talked for a long time last night, it was a very different kind of conversation for us. Not sure where it came from, but she called me and then actually listened and shared – instead of issuing a series of directives to me and insulting other people. (I did have to tell her at one point that I was not going to speak ill of the dead when she started going there.) We recalled the relatively simple Christmases we experienced as children. They were just as magical as can be, but they did not involve thousands of dollars worth of electronic gadgets. They involved maybe a doll, a book or two, and some clothes that were needed anyway. I never recall saying “crap! this is not enough!”
It is truly a challenge to keep it simple at this time of the year, but I am making every effort and I truly hope you do too.
And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. — Luke 2:7