on the 6th day of Christmas....

Who is St. Nicholas?

Today as you know is December 6th, also known as St. Nicholas Day. We all know of our version of St. Nick as the chubby grandpa man in a fuzzy red suite squeezing down the chimney to deliver presents to little boys & girls.

The activity for today is read the true story of St. Nicholas. So tonight while my hubby made dinner {which is rare around here since he is always working so hard, but today he had the day off} I read while he cooked. I found the 'true' story of St. Nicholas here along with the picture above. I will share with you my favorite excerpt of the story.

"One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands something of value, a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man's daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry.

This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver."

And suddenly the picture of oranges in stockings all makes sense!

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