Happy St. Nicholas Day!

"It's been a long journey from the Fourth Century Bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas, who showed his devotion to God in extraordinary kindness and generosity to those in need, to America's jolly Santa Claus, whose largesse often supplies luxuries to the affluent. However, if you peel back the accretions, he is still Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, whose caring surprises continue to model true giving and faithfulness." - from the Origin of Santa at the St. Nicholas Center

I hope you all have a lovely St. Nicholas Day! Learning about St. Nicholas is a beautiful way to delve into this season with a spirit of giving, and take a step back from the tensions and commercials that can overwhelm us this time of year.

We started the morning with just a few small treats in our shoes - a candy cane for St. Nicholas' staff, gold coins to remind us of his generosity, and a few small stickers just for fun. We read this story of St. Nicholas over breakfast (which was half chocolate coins, I'm afraid), and this afternoon we'll make cookies.

My intentions of making this day one of meaningful charity have fallen through yet again, and I marvel at those like St. Nicholas, for whom charity was a daily activity. Alas, the girls and I will make Christmas cards and cookies to give away, so that we can at least think of others throughout the day.

from the Life of St. Nicholas, at the council of Nicaea

Last year, I shared a picture of the story of St. Nicholas and the dowries from the St. Nicholas center, but this year I'm enjoying reading the stories about St. Nicholas at the council of Nicaea and the role he played in defending the doctrine of the Trinity. One retelling is here: Bishop Nicholas loses his cool.

Theology nerds will enjoy this silly song to the tune of "Supercalafragalisticexpialadocius" about the doctrines formulated at the council:
 [chorus] Superchristological and Homoousiosis Even though the sound of them is something quite atrociousYou can always count on them to anathemize your GnosisSuperchristological and Homoousiosis
One Prosopon, two Ousia are in one Hypostasis.
At Chalcedon this formula gave our faith its basis.
You can argue that you don't know what this means,
But don't you go and try to say there’s a "Physis" in between!
Go the St. Nicholas center to see the full song and the definitions of all the greek words.  And be sure to browse the stories, activities, and recipes. The makers of the St. Nicholas Center have filled it with buckets of information, stories and links. Enjoy!


Martha said...

Happy St. Nicholas day to you! That looks like a good book. I'm sure your children enjoyed seeing those awesome stickers in those pretty shoes!!! It's wonderful to see your children join in the GIVING. My girls have each spent $$$ on others already, and are very anxious to give the gifts to the recipients.

Michelle M. said...

Happy St Nicholas Day! Your children's shoes look adorable! My kids only received treats this year. I didn't finish making their little gifts in time, so I am going to save them and give them to the children when we are leaving for our Christmas trip.