07 December, 2009

Good Ole Saint Nick

Photo Compliments: wikipedia.org
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/ Saint_Nicholas_icon, _Holy_Trinity_Church,_Halki_seminary_.JPG

Happy Monday Everybody!

It's not too much of a bright morning this morning, but nonetheless, we have life and should be glad. This week is not a very busy week for me so I have lots and lots of time to read... :-D.... and do other fun stuff..(LOL). Well, things are just getting more lovely as the weeks go by. I can finally feel the spirit of Christmas in the air and I'm surely going to spend a lot of times with loved ones for the holidays. So I guess that things are great. Anyway, yesterday was Saint Nicholas Day and I thought that it'd be nice to share.

Saint Nicholas, the common name for Nicholas of Myra was a bishop of Myra (Demre in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey.) He had been raised as a devout christian by his rich parents, and after they died, he felt obliged to obey Jesus' words, "sell what you own and give the money to the poor." He achieved for himself a reputation of secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus.

Saint Nicholas died on 6th December, 343AD after much suffering under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians. The anniversary of his death became known as St. Nicholas Day.

The Story of St. Nicholas

Once there was a little boy
who lived by the shore of the sea.
He watched the ships go sailing by
all wrapped in mystery.

"What do you carry, where do you go?"
he said as he saw them there.
I hope you bring many good things
to girls and boys everywhere."

Nicholas was the little boy's name,
in case you'd like to know.
He loved surprising others with gifts
and seeing their faces glow.

Then he would hide
and no one would know
the one who loved them,
who loved them so.

Once a father had grown so poor
as to sell his daughters three.
Three nights to his window Nicholas came
with gold to keep them free.

Nicholas went to church one day
and all the people stood:
"You have a heart like God's," they said,
"A heart that is so good."
Will you be our bishop
And lead us as God would?"

When Nicholas died God welcomed him
to heaven's great applause:
"Well done, well done, good Nicholas,
for serving well my cause."

Now every Christmas Nicholas comes
with gifts for girls and boys.
You know his name as Nicholas,
But it's also Santa Claus.

O Good St. Nicholas, children's friend,
friend of girls and boys,
through the clouds come again,
and fill your bag with toys.

Give me too a giving heart,
for loving others too,
I want to know how good it is
to give good gifts like you.
Fr Victor Hoagland

Photo Compliments: flickr.com

Little is known of how St. Nicholas was transformed into Santa Claus, "the Father of Christmas." However, many sources attribute it to Clement Moore, through his poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas." This poem was written in 1822 and it was the first time that the patron Saint was associated with a sleigh or reindeer.

The story of Santa Claus, in my opinion (and according to many sources), has distorted the real Christmas story, that is, the birth of the Christ child. Many people have now resorted to giving gifts on the 6th December in order to focus on Jesus during the Christmas.

A Visit From St. Nicholas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
Clement Moore

1 comment:

  1. Nice poem and story. I hope Santa has lots of gifts for me this Christmas. Ive been good lol!! cheers!