Origin of St Nick

Mary Conaway, News Editor

The origin of Santa Claus oddly enough didn’t start by a man in a red suit with flying reindeer and a workshop in the North Pole; it was started by a mere Bishop in Myra (modern day Turkey).

In Santa Claus fashion, St. Nicholas was generous and helped better his community through helping those in need.

Stories spread about his generosity through different tales about his kind acts. One of these stories being when he helped three women out of poverty by giving their father gold to have enough money for a dowry so they could get married.  According to the Catholic News Agency, “The gold is said to have landed in the family’s shoes, which were drying near the fire,” which could be why children have since then put out stockings.

From these stories, St. Nicholas became a well-known religious figure. But his popularity dropped in the 16th century, and according to a website, Why Christmas, “St. Nicholas became popular again in the Victorian era when writers, poets and artists rediscovered the old stories.” This led to the different variations of Santa Claus.

According to the website, French Today, a story of St. Nick (or in French: Père Noël) consists of three hungry children who are lost in the woods. They find a house in the forest and meet a butcher. The butcher offers them food and shelter but then takes the children into his saltbox and murders him. Père Noël shows up at the butcher’s house and he finds the children and with the help of his magic, he brings the children back to life.

As seen in the story, most variations of Santa have him being generous and kind—  keeping the traits of the original old St. Nick.