Legend of Santa Claus
Nearly 2,000 years ago --- around the time of Jesus' birth --- Nicholas was born to a wealthy family in Myra, a country now known as Turkey.
As a young boy, his parents died and left him a very large inheritance. He was raised as a Christian and had strong faith. So he wanted to do the right thing with his inheritance. Should he invest it? Should he buy himself a house to ensure his shelter always? Should he squander it?
He remembered what was written in the Bible when Jesus told the rich tax collector, "Sell all you have, give it to the poor and follow me."
Because Nicholas was devoted to God he decided to give to the poor. Because of his charitable deeds and because he was so kind, compassionate and helpful towards others, he became the youngest Bishop of Myra.
His most charitable deed was when he helped a poor noble man and hios three daughter's.
The man was so poor and becoming desperate that he thought he may have to sell his daughter's as slaves or prostitutes. But when Saint Nicholas heard of the mans situation he decided to help.
Late that night, Saint Nicholas secretly threw three purses of gold from the chimney into the mans home.
Every year, on December 6th --- the anniversary of Saint Nicholas' death --- families prepare a feast in honor of the memory of Saint Nicholas, also known as "Patron Saint of Children." It is also considered good fortune to marry on that same day.
INSIGHT: Saint Nicholas was eventually named Santa Claus. His ritual of giving gifts throws light on his compassionate character. He signifies the virtue of always being ready to help people in need. No matter what you call him, Santa represents the love, compassion and charity that Christmas stands for.
So although, it has been much commercialized, remember that Santa Claus is not taking anything away from the birth of Jesus, but he is instead adding to what Jesus has called us to do --- humble ourselves and put those less fortunate first.