December 21 – Saint Nicholas

He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” Proverbs 14:21 (NIV)

Today’s mythical Santa Claus developed from a real person named Saint Nicholas, who lived in the 300’s, A.D. He was a very young bishop in Turkey and was extremely kind. Often at night he took presents to the needy. For hundreds of years, people celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6, which is the anniversary of his death.

After the Protestant Reformation, he was replaced by the Christ Child, called “Christkind.” From this name came the character Kris Kringle, the angel-like figure who brings gifts at Christmastime. Children were so fond of his habit of bringing gifts that celebrating his feast day was maintained, and Dutch settlers brought the custom to New York City. The Dutch name for the saint was “Sinter Klaas,” but English-speaking children pronounced it quickly and excitedly as “Santa Claus.”

The best way to show love and appreciation to Jesus for what He has done by coming to earth is to SHARE love with others in need. A simple toy can be the demonstration of love that will open the heart of a child and his parents to the saving message of the Gospel. Be Jesus Christ’s “Little Helper” and give your gifts along with the GOOD NEWS, “tidings of great joy.” (Luke 2:10)

PRAY: “Lord, I love to share the GOOD NEWS and my possessions with the needy. Direct my path today, and bless those who give to the poor. Amen.”


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