HEADLINE: Whatever Happened to Saint Nicholas? by Father Dwight Longenecker
HEADLINE: St. Nicholas: Hidden Patron of America by Daniel Dougherty
HEADLINE: Why I Love St. Nicholas by Charles Coulombe
FROM Father Dwight Longenecker: Eleven years later publisher William B. Gilley brought out Sante Claus, The Children’s Friend. Now the gift-giving saint arrived from the North in a sleigh with flying reindeer. This image along with a cute, didactic poem sealed Bishop Nicholas’ fate. Not only was Sante Claus in a sleigh with reindeer, but he arrived on Christmas Eve—not December sixth, and he arrived with a ghastly new idea: He now “had a list and was checking it twice.” He was “gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.” Put in the language of the 1821 poem, he had a ”long, black birchen rod… directs a Parent’s hand to use when virtue’s path his sons refuse.” His gifts were respectable and safe: “pretty doll… peg-top, or a ball; no crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets to blow their eyes up, or their pockets. No drums to stun their Mother’s ear, nor swords to make their sisters fear; but pretty books to store their mind with knowledge of each various kind.”
- Luther and the Protestants have a problem with this one because the kids and adults just won’t go along with this one.
- His feast is observed in so many different ways by so many different peoples in testimony to the love they bear him. His reputation as a gift-giver comes from his saving three daughters of a ruined merchant from a life of infamy by flinging three bags of gold into their home on three successive nights; he is resorted to as a wonderworker both by his having revived dead boys and because of the miraculous manna that has flowed from his bones since his death — and continues to work miraculous cures.