St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and the cheerful giver of small gifts.
He is well known for leaving small gifts such as gold chocolate coins, oranges, candy and small gifts such as holiday pajamas and small toys to children and those who have been good throughout the year. Many people will celebrate the day by placing thier shoes or the "St. Nick's Shoe Bag" outside thier bedroom door on the eve of St. Nicholas Day (December 5), hoping St. Nick will fill it with simple treats and gifts. Many people also celebrate by doing something charitable or small deeds to help make another person's day special. The day is about giving, and most importantly about recognizing the people in our lives who give back to our communities and our well being. Use this day to let these special people know how much they are appreciated. Keep it simple, but let them know.
Simple gift-giving on St. Nicholas Day
helps to preserve a Christmas Day
The most famous story about St. Nicholas concerns
a man who, because of extreme poverty, had agreed to sell his three
daughters into slavery. St. Nicholas heard about it and came in the
night, leaving behind him a bag with enough gold in it to save one
of the children. Three times he came secretly so that the man would
not know from where the money came. The
bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have
landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led
to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes,
eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the
story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why
three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the
symbols for St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas later transformed into the legendary
character called Santa Claus which is why so many people celebrate
this day as the official start of the Holiday
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