On this day in 343 AD Bishop Nicholas died in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church. He is the patron saint of children, the unmarried and sailors among others, due to many stories about his life. He was remodelled in Reformation times and somehow became a fat whiskered old man dressed in red called Santa Claus. Happily his tradition survives in many Eurpoean countries and Catholic families should begin to reclaim him as a figure who embodies the true spirit of the Christmas season - helping the needy, doing good to ones neighbour, sharing what we have with others. The tradition of children finding sweets or chocolate in their shoe (wrapped of course) on this day is one everyone will love.
The website www.stnicholascenter.org has everything about him with stories and pictures, ideas for celebrating the feast and a shop where you can buy a kit for making a crosier!