Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St Nicholas

Thanks to an old Navy friend and his picture of St Nicholas on face book for the inspiration for my literary offering of the day. December 6th is of course St Nicholas Day. Some believe the true story of Santa Claus begins with St Nicholas who was born in the 3rd century on the southeast coast of present day Turkey. He was a very generous young man, giving away everything that he had to the poor. He became know for his generosity to those in need, his love of children and his concern for sailors and ships. Most of you that know me or read my blog know that my four years in the Navy was very important to me and probably had a lot to do with who I turned out to be. Therefore you can see my connection with St Nicholas.

The entire story is too long to go into, but after reading it one has to hope the giving and sharing links us to the modern day Santa Claus. I see it daily with the bell ringers for The Salvation Army (most of the money collected stays in our town and our church distributes those funds to the needy right here). There’s also The Empty Stocking Club, Toys For Tots and many other generous groups, businesses and individuals that assist those less fortunate, especially during this time of year. I know that economic times are tough for everyone right now but I also know that many are worse off than many of us. My wife rang a bell at a kettle last year and can’t his year so I will for both of us. If you’re in Oregon tomorrow I’ll be ringing at Bill’s Food Center from 8 am until 10 am.

St Nicholas has also been important to my wife and I because she went to Mass everyday until she left for college at St Nicholas Church about two blocks from her childhood home. We also got married there on 6/28/69 by the Monsignor who was a priest when he married her Mom and Dad. Our daughter was also baptized there. Of course she always talks about all of the children getting special treats on St Nicholas day because that was the school she went to for grade school. Sadly the church is gone, but the memories live on. I have also been blessed with memories of many happy Christmases with family and friends.

To you he may be Santa Claus, Old St Nick, St Nicolas or the Spirit of Christmas, but what ever you call him, he should represent giving to those that may not be as blessed as we are. Please do what ever you can to create a happy memory for those that might not have much this Christmas. There are many. Peace and Joy to all.