Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was an archbishop. Wise and fearless, Nicholas was a true shepherd to his flock. He was meek, forgiving, and humble in spirit, fleeing everything that would call attention to himself. His food and clothing were simple, and he ate only once a day, in the evening. The doors of his house were never shut, because he wanted everyone to feel welcome at his house at any time. He was a father to orphans, generous to those in need, the helper of those who had been wronged, and the encourager of every Christian soul entrusted to his care.
There are many stories and beliefs about St. Nicholas, this is the version I grew up with as did my children. St. Nicholas loved and protected children, in fact he is the patron saint of children. Much like Santa Claus, St. Nicholas has the reputation for being the bringer of gifts.
On his feast day, before they go to bed, children leave their shoes (or socks) with a carrot or grain inside them for St. Nick’s horse, (yes horse, not reindeer). When the children awake they find that during the night St. Nicholas has left chocolates and sweets (sometimes small gifts, token gifts, not presents).
I was excited to find that once again, St. Nicholas found his way to our house! In the middle of the night I thought I heard something but just wasn’t sure. When I woke up this morning and went into the kitchen I found three little stockings filled with little treats hanging by the front door for Josh, Kaylee and Eric. Don’t worry little ones, I”ll keep Papa Walt out of the stockings until I see you this weekend!