December Book of the Month: Saint Nicholas of Myra

It’s a name we all have been familiar with since we were young peeking around corners in the middle of the night to catch a single glimpse of him, maybe we would hear the sleigh bells as he approached or catch a peek of his coat, the tip of his hat, or perhaps the whiff of his cologne (wait, does Santa wear cologne? Does it smell like eggnog and sugar cookies?). For centuries children all over the world have revered and loved a man who while his myth is well known, few know about his actual life. Who was he, and how did he become Santa Claus?

Here at Writing Elite we literally bang our heads on the wall researching quality titles to feature as our book of the month. (can you say concussion 😂🤪) So when we say this month’s read is a must read, you can believe it.

Saint Nicholas of Myra: The Life and Legacy of the Ancient Christian Bishop Who Became the Inspiration for Santa Claus

 

Who was Saint Nicolas of Myra?

While the mythical Santa Claus we all know and love resides in the North Pole, the man that in later times became the myth was born (traditionally) March, 15 270 AD in Patara. Patara (later known as Arsinoe) a flourishing maritime and commercial city on the south-west coast of Turkey near the modern small town of Gelemiş, in Antalya Province. While historians agree as to how much of what we do know on Saint Nicholas’s life, they generally agree with the essence of it. His overall generosity was obvious even before he became Bishop of Myra.

Saint Nicholas like many Saints revered from the Middle Ages, lived a life ever on the hunt to bless others. Tales of him saving impoverished young girls from a life of prostitution, innocent men from execution, and resurrecting slain youth were told for centuries after his death leading to the first depiction of the figure we call Santa; Sinterklaus (Old Dutch). It’s noteworthy that one of the most amusing aspects of Saint Nicholas is the furthest away from the secular depictions of Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas was a staunch defender of Christianity and wasn’t afraid to mince words (or trade blows) in a theological debate. One legend has Good ole Saint Nick slapping the accused heretic, Arius (also known as Eusebius) while speaking on the nature of the Trinity at the first Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

Reading more into the life of the man, who we remember and revere as Santa Claus was a particular treat for us. Especially at a time when more and more parents are beginning to treat telling their children about Santa Claus is similar to lying. Honestly, there’s a clear difference between traditional myths and blatant lying. What would Christmas be without the figure of Santa Claus who as a man embodied the characteristics and values we all love about Christmas. Generosity, humility, an uplifting and loving spirit. Without it and the remembrance of Jesus (AS), Christmas would be just another day to shop and eat 😂.

 

We hope you’ll check out this wonderful historical look at the man everyone loves to write letters to this time of the year. Remember, the affiliate links we use on many of our pages help us earn a commission where we can continue to bring you’ll more great family content!

 


References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas