Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6

Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
performed by Colin James
and the Little Big Band

Today is December 6th: the Feast of St. Nicholas!

Nicolaos of Myra was Greek, and a Bishop of Myra, which is now a part of modern-day Turkey. He was also known as "Nicolaos the Wonderworker", because of the miracles that were associated with him. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving (for example, placing coins in the shoes of people who left them out for him), and became a model for our modern-day Santa Claus, whose name derives from the Dutch "Sinterklaas". He is the patron saint of many, including sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children and students.

There are a great number of legends associated with St. Nicholas. The tale that hearkens closely to our traditional view of Santa Claus is the story of how he helped a poor man and his three daughters. The man had no money to provide dowries for his three girls, and at that time in history, this essentially ensured that they would remain unmarried and unable to financially support themselves (unless they were to turn to The World's Oldest Profession, that is...) St. Nicholas did not want to humiliate the man by offering him charity, and so under the cover of the dark of night, he threw one purse of money down the man's chimney, for three nights. The purses landed in the girls' stockings, which had been washed and hung up on the fireplace to dry.

In my house, it is not a star or an angel that graces the top of our Christmas tree. As a wedding present, nearly twenty years ago, we were given a beautiful statue of St. Nicholas, and it is he who "oversees" our holiday festivities!

1 comment:

Nan Sheppard said...

OH! I missed a few days, and I've been looking forward to your annual Musical Christmas!

We spent the weekend in London, and discovered a Choir in Trafalgar Square last night singing all the old bests: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger... it made me cry!

Chas is singing in St Francis' Church on the 16th and I'm sure to cry again :)

Merry Christmas, and thank you for the music as always.

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