Christmas is all about stories, and depending on who you ask there are several stories about the origins of Christmas, one of which is Santa, also known as St. Nick. Today I thought it would be fun to take a look at where St. Nick came from and how we’ve gotten to have him as one of the key figures of Christmas today.
The original Saint Nicholas is from the 3rd century. He was known for using his inheritance to help the needy, sick and suffering. Even as a young man he was giving help to children, women and sailors. He was eventually persecuted for his good deeds and spent years in prison. His gift giving habits and general good-will were adopted by many different countries who created their own versions of Father Christmas (UK), Santa (Scotland), Pere Noel (France), Christ Kind (Germany), and Kris Kringle (USA). It’s through Saint Nicholas and his various “brothers” that we have the practice of filling stockings with gifts.
The most obvious reason of why he was given the honor of becoming the icon of Christmas was because of his love for kids. As much as adults love giving and getting gifts at Christmas, the gift giving tradition is really about the kids. It’s not about the dollar amount of the gifts you’ve given or who can give the most gifts, but about helping those in need and bringing joy to little hearts everywhere.
On this very special day I encourage you to step back from the serious preparations, family obligations, and other commitments and make sure to take time to love on your kids and family. Let them know you appreciate them beyond their ability to give you gifts but for the special person that they are.