St. Nicholas was my inspiration for naming my son Nicholas. Nicholas was the inspiration for Santa Claus and his feast day is December 6th. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, sailors, fisherman, merchants, the falsely accused, Russia and Greece.
How Christmas Stockings Originated
Everyone knows St. Nicholas because of Christmas. One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.
I love the story and thought it would be a wonderful name for my son. I hope you enjoy learning of St. Nicholas too…