There really was a man who was devoted to Jesus Christ and embodied the true spirit of Christmas. It is important that we do not completely reject the man who stands in the middle of this legend. It is also important to ignore how this man’s reputation has been commercialized to the point that what he stood for has largely been lost to us.
Taking away all the exaggerations about him, St. Nicholas is still a fantastic person whose story should be told to children. He lived around three hundred years after Jesus. He loved Jesus and followed what he taught. It was in his nature to give gifts to people, especially the poor. He liked to do this in secrecy. He had no ambition to become famous.
Anyone who found out about him was asked to keep his secret for what he did. After helping some people, he kept giving gifts to others until he died. Eventually people called him a saint. They recalled how St. Nicholas lived and how he gave gifts.
In Holland they call him Sinterclaas. In England they call him Father Christmas. In France he is Pere Noel. The real Santa Claus is in heaven with Jesus. It so happens, that people connected with him ruined the true message of Christmas. This man’s whole life was centered around Jesus. He followed the example of Jesus in giving gifts to people because Jesus came as an infant to give himself for us.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we followed the example of Saint Nicholas? A major part of Christmas is giving without recognition. We can do that during the Christmas season, but it would be better if we have the same motivation as St. Nicholas to give all year round. We can be him just by following what Jesus taught in that we should love others. People talk about the Christmas spirit. We can show the Christmas spirit as would St. Nicholas by carrying on his example.