We are all preparing for the festive season in our own special way. Our celebrations for most of us begin on December 24th, Christmas Eve and the 25th, Christmas Day. These are the days on the Christian calendar that heralds the coming of Baby Jesus to the world. As we also know, it is the night that children from all over the world wait in excitement for Santa Claus, that jolly old soul who brings toys to the good girls and boys on Christmas Eve in North America. In other countries of the world he is known by many other names including: Father Christmas (England), Pere Noel (France), Babbo Natale (Italy), Sinter Klaas (Denmark) just to name a few. The man who is known by many names was not a ficticious character; in the 4th century, he was a Bishop in Myra, which is now Kale in south-west Turkey. He was known to be a kind and generous person; I found information on line that states he would often throw gifts in the windows of the poor. The current origin of Santa Claus was kept alive by the people of Holland who called him Sinterklaas. There, St. Nicholas arrives on horseback on his feast day (December 6th), dressed in a bishop’s red robe to deliver presents to the good boys and girls or coal to the bad. The Dutch took this tradition when they settled in North America where he became known as Santa Claus. I think the story “The Night Before Christmas” and the classic “Coke” commercial had a great deal of influence on the persona we now know as Santa Claus. December 6 is known as St. Nicholas Day. Let’s take the time to reflect and remember that he was indeed a man and a Saint who still, to this day, brings much joy and excitement to millions all over the world.