Pat Shingleton: "The Feast of St. Nicholas..."
Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas and since the fifth century it has been celebrated on this date. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra which is modern-day Turkey. The Little Blue Book - Advent and Christmas Seasons mentions that Nicholas aided people in need, anonymously throwing small bags of gold in their windows. The legend has the bags landing in stockings drying near the fireplace. His generosity encouraged others to give gifts during Candlemas. English reformers replaced Nicolas with Father Christmas, believing he was too close to the Catholic Church. Later the name became Santa Claus and Clement Moore gave him a sleigh, reindeer, pipe, bag and a chimney in "The Night Before Christmas.