Man, St. Nick is a baller.

Man, St. Nick is a baller.

Ok, so.  First of all, my par­ents nev­er real­ly had us believ­ing in San­ta.  I don’t real­ly know why, seems like a harm­less enough myth to me, but it wasn’t for us.  When she was in sec­ond grade, my sis­ter appar­ent­ly was telling peo­ple that San­ta wasn’t real.  So her teacher runs into my dad and goes, “Mr. Marthens, Ros­alie is telling the oth­er chil­dren that San­ta Claus isn’t real!”  and my dad goes, “Well you know he isn’t, right?”

snickicon

ANY­who.  St. Nicholas is a real saint from whom San­ta Claus derives.  He was a Greek bish­op who lived in the 4th cen­tu­ry and because of the many mir­a­cles attrib­ut­ed to his inter­ces­sion is some­times called Niko­laos the Won­der­work­er which, if I’m being hon­est, is a pret­ty B.A. moniker.  He had a rep­u­ta­tion for giv­ing many small gifts, espe­cial­ly to chil­dren, hence San­ta being derived from him, but his feast day (12/6) is also cel­e­brat­ed by the giv­ing of small gifts in many coun­tries.

So when we were kids, my grand­moth­er whose father came from a fam­i­ly of Ger­man immi­grants would always remind us to leave out our shoes on the night of Decem­ber 5th so that St. Nicholas could leave us presents.  As with San­ta, I think we knew all the time that the gifts were from her, but some­how St. Nicholas Day always seemed a lit­tle more mys­te­ri­ous and fun I guess because the gifts weren’t labeled.

So if you like giv­ing your kids or grand­kids cute lit­tle toys and oranges and can­dy, teach them about St. Nicholas and leave them some mys­te­ri­ous presents!  It’s the best!

BONUS INFORMATION!  The Euro­pean tra­di­tions sur­round­ing St. Nicholas also encom­pass the cau­tion­ary tales of Pere Fou­et­tard (some crazy butcher guy who kills bad kids or some­thing.  It’s all very con­fus­ing if you’re not French) and Kram­pus! (The super­nat­u­ral Ger­man ver­sion who’s like a hairy dev­il or some crazi­ness.  We have a book about him!)

krampus!

This is Kram­pus. Pret­ty much the oppo­site of St. Nicholas vis-a-vis looks and/or moti­va­tions.

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So, what do you think?