Monday, December 10, 2007

Is Santa Claus Real???

"In his most famous exploit however, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest (or too shy) to help the man in public, (or knowing the man too proud to accept charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses filled with gold coins through the window opening onto the man's floor. One version has him throwing one purse for three consecutive nights. Another has him throw the purses over a period of three years, each time the night before one of the daughters comes "of age". Invariably the third time the father lies in waiting, trying to discover their benefactor. In one version the father confronts the saint, only to have Saint Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone. In another version, Nicholas learns of the poor man's plan and drops the third bag down the chimney instead; a variant holds that the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking. For his help to the poor, Nicholas is the patron saint of pawnbrokers; the three gold balls traditionally hung outside a pawnshop symbolize the three sacks of gold. People then began to suspect that he was behind a large number of other anonymous gifts to the poor, using the inheritance from his wealthy parents. After he died, people in the region continued to give to the poor anonymously, and such gifts were still often attributed to St. Nicholas." (Excerpt from Wikipedia)
Is Santa Real?
I knew that one day this question would come. Last week as I was driving Abi to kindergarten she asked me point blank. Lori and I talked about his years ago. We decided that we would not actively encourage nor discourage Santa Claus's existence, but if asked we would never lie. When Abi asked me I replied that St. Nicholas was a real person who lived a long time ago. Not only that, but he was a very generous person and he loved Jesus. Through his gifts he helped lots of people and Santa Claus helps us remember the real person of St. Nicolas and is an example for us to be generous to others. She seemed to understand and enjoy that simple explanation as she smiled and said, "Thanks Dad."