Saint Nicholas and the Meaning of Christmas

  Has the meaning of Christmas changed in recent years?  Has the creeping commercialism of the past 40 years radically reshaped our understanding of Christmas?  We learn in the news about Black Friday and Green Monday, about record sales and great bargains, and sadly about customers fighting other customers so they can get the perfect gift for their loved ones.  Television shows talk about our having “the best Christmas ever!”  It is…

Remembering the Original Santa Claus — St. Nicholas of Myra

  On 6 December, the Orthodox Church celebrates the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra.  He lived in the fourth century in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). He had a reputation for secret gift giving.  One story tells how in the middle of the night he secretly threw in tiny bags of money to an impoverished family, saving the daughters from being sold into prostitution.   In recent years this story was…