The Feast of St. Nicholas
He is known by many names, in Germany they call him Kris Kringle. In Peru it is Papa Noel. In England it is Father Christmas, in other parts of Europe he is known as St. Nicholas. In India it is Santa Claus Baba.
Here he is known as plain old Santa.
There really was a St Nicholas and today is his feast day. He is primarily the Patron Saint of Children among other things. He was born to wealthy Christian parents in Asia minor known today as Turkey. He was young when his parents died and he gave away much of his fortune to the sick and poor. He was persecuted and put in prison for his religious beliefs, but managed to still help the poor children.
The legend goes that St Nicholas knew a man that was so poor he couldn’t support his three daughters. They were doomed a life of sin as prostitutes. St. Nicholas wouldn’t allow that to happen, so he secretly threw three bags of gold through the mans window into his home. Hence providing a dowery for his daughters. It is believed that two of the bags landed in the stockings drying by the fire. It is believed that is where the idea of stocking stuffers came from.
For today, his feast day and Christmas Eve, St Nicholas (Santa Claus) should be left a glass of milk, a carrot for his reindeer and a cookie to nibble on.