The Story of St. Nicholas

We know Santa Claus as a big man, with a big white beard. That wears a red suit with a Christmas hat. He rides on a sled that is pulled around by reindeers. He comes down chimneys, eats cookies and drink milk, and gives out presents. There have been many Christmas movies that have been made about Santa Claus. Most of us have heard about Santa Claus, but what if Santa Claus was nothing like you thought? Here is the real story of how Santa Claus came to be.

Saint Nicholas was born around the year 280 in Patara, Lycia (part of Turkey now). His parents died when he was young and left him an inheritance. Saint Nicholas used his inheritance to help the poor and the sick. He later became a bishop in Myra (known as Demre now). Throughout his life, he was very giving man. He died around the year 343. But his legacy did not end there. There are many stories about him helping the poor and sick, but we are not sure if they are all true.

One of the most popular stories is how Saint Nicholas helped a dad of three girls. The dad didn’t have enough for his daughters dowries. (Dowries are money or property that a bride will bring to the husband, on a wedding day. This was very popular throughout history. It still is practiced in some countries.) The dad got to the point that he even thought about selling his daughters into servitude. Saint Nicholas learned about this and decided to give the dad money. Saint Nicholas dropped a bag of money down the chimney. The dad was thankful and wanted to know who the person was. Saint Nicholas ended up doing this two more times. The third time, the dad decided to hide by the fireplace. When he found out that the man was Saint Nicholas, he started to thank him, but Saint Nicholas wanted to stay anonymous. He told the dad not to tell anyone, but the word got out. This is how the idea of Santa Claus came to be.

In the 16th century, the traditions and stories started to die out. But people believed that they still needed someone to deliver the presents, to the kids. So, they came up with the idea “Father Christmas”, in the UK. In America, he became known as ‘”Kris Kringle”. This changed when Dutch Settlers came to the USA with the old stories of Saint Nicholas. This is around the time that it came to be known as Santa Claus.

Today, Saint Nicholas day is on December 6th. On the night of December 5th, kids will put out their shoes out. This is because they would be filled it presents. But Santa Claus is known throughout the Christmas season, getting ready for Christmas. He has elves that make all the presents that he brings around. Saint Nicholas legacy has lived on for centuries. In 2017, there was a pelvic bone that was found. They believed that it belonged to Saint Nicholas. It was tested and found to belong to an American priest. They tried to match this bone to the other bones that are believed to belong to Saint Nicholas.