St. Nicholas of Myra

St. Nicholas Day is a big feast around, made even better this year since it is our day for the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Boys’ Club! How perfect is that? Read up on this amazing, and very real, saint who inspired the Christmas tradition of Santa Claus. Here are a few highly recommended resources for the facts and legends that abound:

  • The Real St. Nicholas — this is a beautifully done book which covers just about all the stories about the miracles attributed to Bishop Nicholas. The book is a treasure trove of facts, stories and recipes.
  • The Real Santa Claus — this is hard to find, but worth it! This long picture book gives the legends surrounding St. Nicholas — his saving the young women from a life of poverty, his saving the boys in the barrel, and even the story of his saving the ship from wrecking on the coast. The illustrations are glorious and add so much to this OOP book.
  • St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas — this is a large book, perfect for “strewing” and dipping into today and all through the Advent and Christmas season. Articles, stories and pictures abound in this overview of all things St. Nicholas including churches, artwork, parades and many other representations of this beloved icon of Christmas.
  • The Miracle of St. Nicholas — this is a long picture book that makes for a perfect read-aloud for kids to hear about Christmas magic and the strength in believing in the Good, the True and the Beautiful even when the people in charge tell you otherwise. The illustrations are beautifully done. I’ll be reading this one today to the boys.
  • The Baker’s Dozen — this is another picture book, but has more fiction than fact. It’s the tale of how St. Nicholas cookies got started, a story of giving to those who have less. The illustrations are delightful.
  • The Legend of St. Nicholas by Demi — altho I don’t like this one as much as the first two listed, it’s still a great overview of the saint’s life. Demi’s artwork is not to be missed.

Books, crafts and small gifts for the Bl. Pier Giorgio Boys' Club members

After the boys head home at lunchtime, my kids and I will watch a lovely movie from Finland (dubbed into English), titled Christmas Story. This gives a version of St. Nicholas and how he became Santa Claus.

On a side note: all you well-meaning folks who want to disabuse my kids of the belief in St. Nicholas (as the true Santa) and try and convince them that Christmas Magic is all make-believe, please don’t. We like to keep the mystery and magic of Christmas alive and would prefer you don’t tell them horror stories of how bad Christmas can be … that Santa never brought you the toy you most desired … or anything else. In our house, St. Nicholas and the spirit and magic of Christmas are alive and well and we’d like to keep it that way. THANK YOU and may St. Nicholas shower you with the blessings of the season!

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