Santa Claus

No, it is not too early to talk about Santa Claus. Today (I write this on the 6th of December) is the day we commemorate Saint Nicholas. The real Santa Claus lived between the years 270 – 343 AD; in a part of the world we now call Turkey. When his parents died he inherited a fortune. He was very generous and had a reputation for secret gift-giving. In his most famous exploit, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man’s plight, Nicholas decided to help him, but being too modest to help the man in public (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man’s house. Because his generous acts he was later elected to be the Bishop of Myra. Now why I’m I telling you this story? Well, right now most of us are running around buying, or planning, to buy Christmas gifts. Each year we spend an incredible amount Christmas shopping. Just here in Sweden we spend close to 60 billion Swedish kronor buying stuff to give away. Now it is nothing wrong to give gifts. But maybe we should let ourselves be inspired by Saint Nicholas. I our world it is easy to be like Saint Nicholas. We don’t have to sneak up to houses in the middle of the night throwing our gifts trough the window. All we have to do is to donate some of our money to a charity of our choice. There are many worthy causes out there. Children are still living in desperate poverty all around the world. Think what a difference it would make if each of us gave half our Christmas budget to charity! From Sweden alone that would mean 30 billion kronor towards helping people who really need what we have in abundance. So let us remember Santa Claus and spread Christmas joy in the same way he did.