Friday, November 27, 2009

yes, Natalie, there was a Santa Claus

Once upon a time, in about the third century, in the city of Myra (modern day Turkey), there was a man by the name of Nicholas. As a boy, Nicholas loved God. As a teenager he was often called the "Boy Bishop" and was greatly loved by everyone in the community.
His family was very wealthy, and from the moment he recieved his inheritence, Nicholas began to give it away to the poor and needy. He especially loved to give the gifts to children, though he always did it in secret. The best-known tale of his generosity involves three young sisters who were too poor to pay for their wedding dowries. Nicholas wanted to help, but he didn't want to receive any credit for he act of charity.
Legend has it that Nicholas climbed onto the roof of their house and threw a gold coin down the chimney. The coin landed in the oldest girl's stocking as ut was hanging beside the fireplace to dry. The second daughter's dowry was provided in the same way. So when the time came for the youngest girl to be married, her father hid himself on the roof and waited. Nicholas's secret was revealed, and he was loved more than ever before.
Hundreds of years later, this good bishop was declared Saint Nicholas. Today he is known far and wide as Santa Claus.
His name Kris Kringle comes from the Dutch word Christkindl, meaning "Christ child." It was originally created as an attempt to refocus people's attention on Jesus as the real gift-giver.
The truth is that St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, and Kris Kringle all reveal the giving heart of God, who is the original Father Christmas.

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