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Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

December 6 is the feast of Saint Nicholas. Many children hang stockings or leave shoes outside their bedroom doors before going to bed on December 5. Saint Nicholas visits during the night, leaving the children candy, fruit, nuts, or other treats. Saint Nicholas’s example of generosity and sharing is the basis for Santa Claus. Connecting the jolly, bearded figure in red to Saint Nicholas, a real bishop from fourth-century Turkey, helps children understand the gift-giving at Christmas as based on both Saint Nicholas’s generosity as well as God’s perfect generosity in sending his Son as the greatest gift of all.

Share “The Legend of Saint Nicholas: A Read-Aloud Story for Young Children” with your class or children in your home. Adapt the service ideas in “Celebrate St. Nicholas by Serving Others” as needed for appropriate physical distancing and safety.

Image credit: Nika Art/

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