As this time of year approaches, I have a myriad of feelings. I don’t think I’m alone. Especially for those who are really struggling with the holiday for a range of reasons.
Today, I reflect on Saint Nicholas, the bishop from Turkey in the fourth century. He got the name “Saint Nick” for his kindness to sailors, merchants, archers, prostitutes and children; he is more known for his secret gift-giving to help the people struggling. There is not a lot of information on him other than he rescued a few women from prostitution, calming a sea for sailors, saving innocent soldiers from prosecution, and he rescued some children as well.
Saint Nick was born to rich parents and gave to the poor. One time a poor man did not have enough money for his daughter to have a wedding, and Nicholas dropped gold down the chimney into the house. The gold dropped into a stocking that had been hung there to dry. Nicholas did not want anyone to know it was him. Eventually, with the second attempt with the poor man’s second daughter, they discovered who it was.
Saint Nicholas was exiled from Turkey and later put in prison during the persecution by Emperor Diocletian. There is no record of when he died.
In 1087 his bones were stolen from Turkey and kept in a Church that was named after him. Sailors still carry his statue from the Cathedral out to the sea so that they can bless the waters.
The tradition of giving continued, and in the 16th century, someone had to deliver presents to the children in the UK. He became “Old Man Christmas”. In the US, there was someone named Kris Kringle. Eventually, Saint Nicholas became “Santa Claus”.
There is much more to the history than I am writing. But the point I’d like to make is, Christmas is really about giving to the poor and needy. What has become of our society? Please reflect on that.
It is also about the birth of Jesus Christ, but where is that? Where is be kind to others? We have forgotten how to be kind. It is free. We all are brothers and sisters on this earth, and none of us is better or worse than the other.
And random acts of kindness really do matter in life.
If you are struggling this Christmas, my message to you is this: you matter—you are worthy—you have a purpose—you are dearly loved by the Universe.
(I prefer to say God, but so much suffering has been done in the name of God, it may be a trigger.)
So, today, I’m sending each and every person who is reading this, Love from my heart. My personal message: Our Creator loves us all. Please love yourself and take care of yourself during this holiday season.