“For it is in giving that we receive.”
― St. Francis of Assisi
There’s a saint named St. Nick.
He died on December 6, 343 AD in Myra, Turkey.
It’s on that day, December 6th, that people celebrate his legacy.
You may wonder why? What is he the saint of and what’s his legacy, you may ask …
Here is the origin of St. Nick and I pulled a snippet:
“The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.”
Saint Nicholas of Myra is a major saint in many Eastern European countries. For us, since both of our families are of German and Polish decent, we celebrate St. Nicholas on December 6th.
For our family, December 6th kicks off the Christmas season. The purpose of St. Nicholas is to serve as a reminder to follow his example of compassion for the poor – especially for poor children – during the holiday season.
He comes on the night of December 5th and fills the girls stockings with …
- Clementines or oranges, tangerines – to symbolize the wealth of having food. Citrus fruits were once scarce in winter in many parts of the world. These oranges serve as a reminder to be grateful for the food we have each day on our table.
- Gold chocolate coins – to represent the money Nicholas gave to the poor.
- Christmas Pajamas – to represent the aide he gave to the poor.
- Candy Canes – the shapes of the candy canes is like a shepherd’s staff and serves as a reminder to care for people the way that Nicholas did.
- A Small Toy – Nicholas cared for children and it’s said that his secret gift-giving is what gave rise to the traditional Santa.
- A Christmas Book – This has nothing to do with St. Nick, actually. This one is on me. I love reading and it’s a means to get a new book for our holiday tradition of counting down to Christmas with books. Read about our tradition here.
P. S. Here are a couple of our St. Nick Jammie’s.