St. Nicholas 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 rich parents, who raised him to be a good Christian, died while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used all his money to assist the poor, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man, and became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors.
Perhaps the best-known story about Nicholas is about his charity toward a poor man who was unable to provide things and money for his three daughters who were soon getting married. Rather than seeing them unhappy, Nicholas secretly put a bag of gold through the poor man’s window on three separate occasions, thus helping the daughters to be married. Over the centuries, this particular legend changed into the custom of gift-giving on the saint’s feast. And so St. Nicholas became, by a twist of the tongue, Santa Claus.
The 6th of December marks the feast of Saint Nicholas. This man was so special that sometimes he is called the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas is very commonly called Santa Claus and he is very much related to the special time of Christmas which we will be celebrating very soon. He reminds us about generosity and the joy of giving rather than receiving. That is why we give each other little presents at this time of year.
The story of The Baker’s Dozen is a sweet story about Saint Nicholas. From it we learn the importance of being generous and open-handed.