St. Nicholas – Myth, Man, Lie or Truth?

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest ...

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest van Sinterklaas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So I know this might be after Yule, Christmas and everything else we were celebrating last month, but I didn’t want to wait until next year to do this and I didn’t have the strength or conviction to write this topic during my trip to Vancouver. I saw Home Alone on yesterday so I know it’s not too late yet – because people are still kind of coasting on the afterglow of the holidays. Whether that is good or bad is up for debate.

 

Many parents I know are faced with many rather difficult challenges when raising their kids. From helping them differentiate between “Right and Wrong” to “You can’t Like Boys/Girls Yet!“. One of these challenges comes in the form of a rather innocent, yet well-intentioned, slightly manipulative, white lie. Santa Clause. Some kid’s parents tell their kids, “He’s not real” to “He is real, you just have to believe!“. What is fact? What is fiction? What have we embellished over the years about this rather kindly, jovial and jolly man who grants us Faith, teaching us about charity, humility, compassion, helps us to believe in the Magick of Christmas and more.

 

For those of you who don’t know. St. Nickolas was a real man. He was born in the third century in a village called Patara. He was a devout Christian as his parents raised him to be (as is often the case of those times and even a persistent theme of today). His parents unfortunately died when he was young and obeying, what he felt to be the will and words of Jeshua (Jesus), sold all that he owned and used what he had to help the needy, sick and the poor. He dedicated his life to God and was eventually made a Bishop of Myra while he was still a young man. “Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.” (Excerpt from “Who is St. Nicholas” on St. Nicholas Center)

 

A medieval fresco depicting St Nicholas from t...

A medieval fresco depicting St Nicholas from the Boyana Church, near Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There are many a story about the Saint’s deeds before death and after his death. He is known as a protector of Children and Sailors. And perhaps even – Gifter of Gifts who are truly without much or none. That last part, who knows for sure but I do know I have heard my fair share of stories about such things happening in modern times.

 

One story I remember being passed to me from a friend by a friend. Their friend’s family got snowed in at the place they were staying which was out in the woods. There weren’t exactly any other people or neighbors close by. The snow was also piling up. One thing that loomed was that there would be no gifts to give and open on Christmas because no one could get out. The next day or evening (I don’t remember which it was), Christmas Day they opened the door, most likely to check the level of the snow, and found a small pile of gifts. Now, when there’s no one around, you’ve got some serious snow piling up and there are no footprints in the snow either. There are a million questions one starts to ask.

There may be a logical answer or explanation. There just might be – but for those of us who like and want to believe in St. Nicholas or “Santa Clause” and the Magick of Christmas, please don’t spoil the moment. 😉 Thank you.

 

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

By all technicalities the man still “technically” exists. He exists in Spirit. Maybe he does in a physical vessel (I like to think of the mall Santas‘ as being his messengers/agents of the Season) or form at times too for certain reasons. Who knows. Do you know the ways of Saints and how they work? They often say, don’t try to figure out the God/desses plans for you or how they work because you won’t be able to. Maybe the same goes for Saints. Especially this one. Now I know I’m Pagan and some people are probably going, “Isn’t he contradictory to your beliefs?” I think that depends.

 

If a Saint has a problem with me being a Pagan, it’s their choice to answer my prayer or not. I am also no “traitor” to my kind either. I just believe in reaching out and asking for help from all good and kindly sources that may be willing to lend a helping hand when it is needed most. Much like tools as my Ka’huna once said, “Some will work for you and others won’t. Work with the ones that do and discard/forget what doesn’t. It’s no big deal and that simple.

 

What is St. Nicholas not? Well he certainly isn’t a fat, jolly old man with a belly that seems like it’s full of jelly! Though the suit he has been depicted in, has been around for some time. However, his modernized look is just that – a modern interpretation and thanks to Coca Cola and other companies, movies, cultures and other media advertising it has continued and been accepted as the norm. So some of how he’s depicted in the stories we read our children IS completely myth. But who’s to say for sure the man didn’t have rosy cheeks and nose, a joyful disposition and a twinkle in his eye?

 

A&P, COFFEE, SANTA CLAUS

A&P, COFFEE, SANTA CLAUS (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

 

What good has the Spirit of St. Nicholas done for us in a modern setting? Admit it. When you see pictures of the Jolly old man in his red, white and black you think of family gatherings, togetherness with those you love, giving and receiving of gifts, sitting and sipping Hot Chocolate by the fire and the possibility of snowfall the virtues I mentioned at the beginning. Or maybe your like Scrooge and think of all the things you just HATE about the holiday season. I know the few things I mentioned in the beginning are what I think of as well as “Holiday Cheer“. While the holidays can be a hectic and stressful time of the year, I know there’s still a lot of positive energy just bustling in the air. So I truly feel the spirit of St. Nicholas does a great deal of good, even today.

 

Deutsch: Lesbische Zweisamkeit im Bett

Deutsch: Lesbische Zweisamkeit im Bett (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So – the big debate. Should you tell your kids a pretty lie? Or – tell them the truth? I think it’s important to allow them the full advantage to experience the Magick of the holidays. I think we kind of spoil that when we say, “Oh he’s not real so don’t bother“. Granted, some people feel St. Nicholas has been twisted into a means to “Strike Fear” but also to encourage children to be good because being good yield rewards. If we aren’t careful though – we can also set our children up for “False Expectations“. And that’s bad on us. So, I think it’s good to tell them the Truth but also tell them that if they placate St. Nicholas for a gift they really and truly desire, he just might grant or give it. In a way, this could lend into the “Law of Attraction” but if you aren’t teaching them this, at least something good and positive can come of teaching about Prayer and Faith, not to mention positive thinking and feeling. I think that’s important at any age.

 

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I think, if I ever have children of my own – I will be honest and forthright and tell them the truth about St. Nicholas. Of course I will let them and let them know it’s their choice to believe, but these same children will be growing up in a household of love, compassion, Magick and where anything is truly possible (mama would try not to limit them without good reason mind you 😛 ). So I think they’d choose the belief, Magick and Spirit of Christmas/Yule/etc over not believing any day. Who knows until I have my own though. *shrugs*

 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I enjoyed being able to write it. If you have your own thoughts on this you’d like to share please feel free and remember you can suggest a topic of interest you’d like to see me try to write about for my next topic of interest! Just leave a comment. 😀

 

~Blessings, Infinite love, gratitude and more – Namaste~

 

References used for certain for this article:

 

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. liquidmatthew
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 08:01:26

    My favorite Saint Nicholas story is that he once punched a heretic in the head at the Council of Nicea.

    • Lady Gwendolynn
      Jan 18, 2013 @ 08:05:44

      Are you serious?! Really?! lmao If that’s part of the actual stories, totally awesome! 😄 I mean, that’s what we call Religion getting “Close and personal”. Or even better. Saint Nicholas is a loose cannon Bishop who doesn’t play by the rules! lol

  2. Trackback: no dishonesty in this house | reverie slice

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