The scene I describe takes place in the fourth century. I see a home with a bare cupboard. Barely enough food for the father and his two daughters. The older daughter, in her early twenties, cannot get married as she has no dowry to offer. A dowry is property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage. She did not want the same to happen to her younger sister so she was contemplating selling herself into slavery so her younger sister could get married.

Her father heard of this and began to pray fervently for Jesus to intercede and stop this from happening. A priest heard about this and would go to the man’s house during the night and toss a small bag of gold through the window. This was for the oldest daughter. He did the same for the second daughter. The grateful father would watch to find out who was being so good to them. When the priest came a third time, the father caught sight of him. He thanked the man over and over again.

This priest would later go on to be Bishop of Myra, later to become part of Turkey. As bishop, he was a believer in Justice and would save many an innocent man for death. He would be canonized in the sixth century. His name of course is St. Nicholas. Sinter Klaus is the Dutch form of his name and that name has morphed into Santa Claus.

St. Nicholas believed in doing his good turn daily and his duty to God, others, and self. As we celebrate this Christmas season, we too can imitate St. Nicholas by putting others first. We can offer to help our parents on a daily basis. We can be kind to our siblings.

St. Nicholas, whose feast day we celebrate on December 6th, gave of his time, talent, and treasure. His embodiment, Santa Claus, continues this tradition on the 24th of December. As our young learn that it is better to give than to receive, our adults put it into practice.

I would like to recognize those adults who give of their time to the families of others. Jim Smith, Steve Hance, Joe Venezia, Wes Wickenheiser, Rob Douthit, Michelle McCray, and Jeremy Warner.

In closing, let us remember that we are in Advent, a time of preparation for the birth of Christ. May we all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas.