For generations, Santa Claus has captured the hearts of children all over the world. But who is he?
Saint Nicholas was a Catholic bishop who was born in the third century. His parents died when he was young, leaving him a lot of money which he used to help the sick, needy, and suffering. Legends about his generosity have been passed down through the years, shaping the world’s view on the man whom we now lovingly call Father Christmas.
Also Read: Story Time: Tony Finds His Way
One of the most famous stories is about a poor man who had three daughters who could not get married because they did not have money for dowries. (A dowry is an amount of money given to the groom by the parents of the bride on their wedding day.) One day, a bag of gold was mysteriously found inside a stocking left to dry by the fireplace. This allowed the eldest daughter to get married. This repeated with the second daughter. When it was time for the third daughter to get married, the poor man lay in wait for the third bag of gold in order to thank his benefactor. He discovered Nicholas, who asked him to keep it a secret. Soon, however, the news got out and little children began placing their stockings by the fireplace, hoping for a gift from Nicholas.
Also Read: Have a Merry Christ-mas!
Santa Claus is characterized wearing red because, as a bishop, his attire included red robes and a hat. Clement C. Moore, the author of the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” gave the modern description of Saint Nicholas. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist from Harper’s Weekly magazine, drew the first version of the Santa Claus we know today.
Saint Nicholas died on September 6 and is the patron saint of children, sailors, and merchants.