The Feast of St Nick

What do you call him? You know, the jolly fat man in the (Coca-cola inspired) red suit?

Do you know him as Fr. Christmas? Santa Claus? St. Nicholas? Tomten? Anything else? And does he visit your house tonight (or was it last night?) or on Christmas Eve?

Saint Nick was from Myra, in modern day Turkey. He’s credited with lots of miracles, hence the sainthood, and with legends of secret gift-giving, hence Fr. Christmas.

As with all saints, he’s the patron of many, including children, students, thieves, archers, merchants, sailors and pawnbrokers. He was also the patron saint of the Varangian Guard, an elite group of mostly Norsemen charged with the task of protecting the Byzantine Emperor. A busy man, St. Nick.

Apparently, a review of his skeleton has revealed that he was barely five feet tall. A win for all us shorties, I think. Height is no barrier to greatness. Or something.

But anyway, Santa’s not just some random, creepy stranger getting stuck down your chimney. And if he doesn’t bring what you asked for, do bear in mind that he’s got the whole rest of the world to see to as well, even if he does visit some about now to be organised and get some of his Christmas preparation out of the way early…

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