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Happy Saint Nicholas Day!  Today, in our home, we pay tribute to the patron saint of children (and mariners, bankers, pawn-brokers, scholars, orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges, paupers, marriageable maidens, students, children, sailors, victims of judicial mistakes, captives, perfumers, even thieves and murderers!) with an old custom of leaving their shoes out to be filled with a treat by Saint Nicholas himself.  I prefer giving fruit, but the custom is varied, depending on the region.  Some places in Europe the gift exchange is reserved for today so that come Christmas the focus lay solely on Jesus.

Either way, whatever faith, Saint Nicholas’ story of charity is such a good lesson for children.  With the commercial overtaking of Christmas everywhere, wouldn’t it be nice to keep focus on what really matters in the home?  Even if you don’t believe in anything, kids still hear about Christmas and Santa, I submit teach them the reason there is a Santa in the mall – besides the fact that someone needed a job.

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!