St Nicholas Day
|Image from post by Vee Jay Burns|
It's probably my fault. I didn't put out my clogs last night.
And it was the eve of St Nicholas Day.
And I didn't leave any hay for his horse.
But I don't have any clogs. And I don't have any hay. And I'm not Dutch.
So I don't put out clogs and hay on St Nicholas' Eve.
So St Nicholas has passed me by.
It is his day today, so I'm giving a nod in his direction. It is certain that Nicholas was Bishop of Myra (then Greek, now in southern Turkey) in the 4th century. That is perhaps the only uncontested fact about him. Most of the legends about his life probably developed in the medieval period. But I think his reputation for generosity to those in need, love of children and concern for sailors may of grown from things that were true of his character and lifestyle. You can read more facts and legends about him here.
J. Rosenthal and C. Myers wrote an interesting comparison between St Nicholas and Santa Claus which I quote below:
Santa Claus belongs to childhood;
St Nicholas models for all of life.
Santa Claus as we know him, developed to boost Christmas sales - the commercial Christmas message;
St Nicholas told the story of Chirst and peace, goodwill toward all - the hope-filled Christmas message.
Santa Claus encourages consumption.
St Nicholas encourages compassion.
Santa Claus appears each year to be seen and heard for a short time:
St Nicholas is part of the communion of saints, surrounding us always with prayer and example.
Santa Claus flies through the air - from the North Pole;
St Nicholas walked the earth - caring for those in need.
Santa Claus - for some - replaces the Babe of Bethlehem;
St Nicholas, for all, points to the Babe of Bethlehem.
Santa Claus isn't bad;Do you celebrate St Nicholas Day with any special traditions?
St Nicholas is just better.
If you do, I'd love to hear about them.