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What We Can Learn from the Real Saint Nicholas

Did you know that the Santa Claus we know and love today is based on a real person? In the third century, Nicholas lived in what is now modern-day Turkey. When his parents died, he used his inherited wealth to follow his devout Christian values and help people. Most famously, he performed his good acts in secret, leaving money or gifts for those in need to discover – which is why Santa comes when we’re asleep! He died on December 6th, which is the day he is sometimes still celebrated now – and we can still learn so much from his good deeds!

  • Be generous, without expecting anything in return. Saint Nicholas is said to have helped families in need of dowries by throwing bags of gold coins down their chimneys! But he didn’t let anyone know it came from him. We can think of ways to help those in need without revealing ourselves, you’ll still feel the glow of giving!

  • Remember the children. Nicholas paid special attention the making children happy during the holiday season, and became known as the patron saint of children for his feats in protecting them. We may not need to rescue little boys from evil kings, but we can choose a child’s name off the angel tree or smile with charity in our hearts at a child melting down in the middle of Target.

  • Look out for everyone. Throughout the years, Nicholas became the patron saint of all sorts of people – mariners, travelers, merchants, marriageable maidens, students, children, even thieves! He’s a good reminder that even if someone isn’t like us, they’re people too. Keep an eye out for anyone who needs help. Where can you offer a hand?

Recently, the tomb of Saint Nicholas was unearthed at a church in Turkey. Although we honor his cultural avatar, Santa Claus, each year – thinking about the real man who inspired it can help us really feel a part of the season of giving. What could you do with your family inspired by Saint Nicholas? Share with us!

Originally posted on on December 7th, 2022

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