By Eric Orellana, Grade 7
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated by many people on December 6th each year in the coastal regions of northwestern Europe- Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Many religious groups celebrate St. Nicholas Day, such as Anglicans, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Church members, Lutherans, Methodists, and Reformationists. But why do these religious groups celebrate St. Nicholas Day every year?
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated to recognize the man from the 4th century who devoted his entire life to helping the needy. He sold all of his belongings and gave the money he earned from selling these belongings to the poor. He later became the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus. On St. Nicholas Day, people give out candies, chocolate letters, small gifts, and share riddles with people in their community. People also place their shoes in the foyer, or lobby, before they go to bed in hopes of receiving sweets and treats when they wake up from their slumber. They also give out grocery gift cards to the people who need staples the most, and help out in food shelters. Many families participate in learning the true lesson of St. Nicholas Day. This is how people celebrate St. Nicholas on his feast day.
Fr. Andrew Phillips said that “Everybody loves St Nicholas because St. Nicholas loves everybody.” St. Nicholas of Mya himself said, “The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic God’s giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.” Trevor Willmott said that “St. Nicholas reminds us of God’s love, God coming amongst the ordinariness of us, arriving amongst the noise and sound ready for us to set out on our journey.”
Many people find St. Nicholas day to be a very special day. How will you prepare for this day? What will you do to help those in most need? If your community doesn’t celebrate, ask people what they could do for the special day.