Who Is Saint Nicholas?

0 comments / Posted on by Nic Harry

Well, I'm Nic. I'm the founder of Nic Harry. Unfortunately I am absolutely not a Saint. 

I would like to tell you the story of the actual Saint Nick (or Saint Nicholas or in Greek Aγιος Νικόλαος). Many people know who Father Christmas is told to be. Many people have heard of Santa Clause and almost everyone knows that the Big Daddy of Christmas is a round looking, white bearded and jolly old man.

The question I'd like to answer is why Father Christmas is Father Christmas and who Saint Nick is. 

The historical Saint Nicholas was born at PataraLycia in Asia Minor (now Turkey). In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea. According to Western Christian tradition, Italian merchants took his body to Italy in 1087. (Wikipedia)

Apparently the modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding not just Saint Nicholas but also the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (who apparently is also based on Saint Nicholas). 

There are many, many incredible stories about Saint Nicholas but perhaps the most well known (and Christmas relevant one) is as follows: 

The most famous story about St. Nicholas tells how the custom of hanging up stockings to get presents in first started! It goes like this:

There was a poor man who had three daughters. He was so poor, he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn't get married. One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.

And that, dear fan of the "Nics" is the story of Saint Nicholas. 

If you're wondering why we think of Saint Nic as a bearded white dude who needs to go on a few runs then wonder no more. We owe the general look of Father Christmas to an 1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, along with Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas", helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus (see image on the right).

Now, if you want a secret gift from this Nic, then I suggest you enter our Saint Nic Christmas Giveaway!

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