If you believe that the deeds of one man can resound through hundreds of years and make the world a kinder, more giving place, if only for a season, then you can believe in Santa Claus!
About 245 AD in the town of Patara, a port in Turkey, was born a man, destined to become a saint. His name was Nicholas. At an early age, Nicholas’ father died, leaving him a great fortune. Anonymously, Nicholas gave much of the money away to those in need and to children in particular. But there was one feat of generosity that would become legend! A legend that stays with us today.
A poor man had three daughters but no money for their dowries and so they had no prospect of marriage. And an unmarried woman, in those times, would have a bleak future of prostitution or slavery. Upon hearing of the family’s plight, Nicholas visited their home in the dark of night and tossed a small bag of gold into the window. This was enough for the eldest daughter’s dowry. The next night, a second bag of gold and the second daughter was saved. On the third night, the window was closed. What to do? Up on the rooftop went Ol’ Saint Nick and down the chimney went the gold. Stockings had been hung over the embers of the fire to dry and some of the gold fell into them. Once the story of the third night got out, other people in the town starting hanging stockings about the fireplace to catch any gifts or gold that just might ‘drop in‘.
Ok, ok, so Santa does not shimmy down the chimney, even the REAL Saint Nick didn’t do that. But as long as your family, friends, and you, yourself, follow Nicholas’ example and give gifts to those you love or to those in need, then… yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus… and there always will be.
As for holding to the theme of my blog, I think that one man taking on the whole “me” oriented world constitutes the courage and long odds that are at the core of all of my stories.
Merry Christmas to all! And “God bless us, every one.”