The story begins in the town of Patara, on the southern coast of Turkey. Nicholas’ wealthy parents died in an epidemic when he was still young. He sold all of his inheritance and gave to the needy, sick, and poor. He was made the Bishop of Myra while still a young man. He died on December 6, AD 343, the day that would eventually become a day of celebration.
After his death, stories and legends began to circulate about the kind of acts of St. Nicholas. Some stories told of his gift-giving to those in needs. Some stories told of how he protected children. Some told of his goodness to all in need, whether they be rich or poor, victims, captives, thieves or murderers.
Throughout the centuries, Europe kept alive the legends of St. Nicholas and the stories of his goodness. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed up as the bishop, begging for money for the poor. In Holland and Belgium, St. Nicholas rode a white horse as he gave out gifts. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes, hoping St. Nicholas’ horse will come to visit them, exchanging the carrots for small gifts.
As many Europeans immigrated to the United States in the 1800s, they brought their St. Nicholas traditions with them. The celebrations have evolved over the years, but each Christmas season, St. Nicholas is remembered as children lay out their shoes on December 5th, hang out their stockings on Christmas Eve, and squeal with delight at the gifts from the generous Saint Nicholas, the defender of the weak and protector of the small.
This Holiday season, you have the chance to give generously, just as Saint Nicholas did.
The whole month of December, JB’s on 41 is collecting toys and donations for Toys for Tots . Donate a toy and receive a $3 Game Room Card Instantly! Don't forget to stop by JB’s on 41 on December 15th from 1-4 pm to “Bowl with the Marines”. Not only will we have the Marine Corps here but for a $5.00 Toys for Tots donation we will add a Red Pin to your lane for a chance to win prizes off of our Prize Wheel!
Channel the Saint Nicholas spirit this Christmas and join JB’s on 41 in giving back to the community.
*Information courtesy of the St. Nicholas Center: www.stnicholascenter.org