December 6th is set aside each year to celebrate the life of the Bishop of Myra – otherwise known as Saint Nicholas. (The name Santa Clause comes from the Dutch translation of his name plus a few centuries of use.)
He lived in the 4th century in what is now the nation of Turkey. Born to a very wealthy Christian family, Nicholas was orphaned at a young age and raised by family. By his teenage years his zeal for the Lord was known and he became a priest and not long after was named Bishop of his area. He even attended the Council of Niea where we ultimately get the Nicene Creed from.
Church tradition says that since he was wealthy, a large part of his ministry was to give to the poor and needy, especially children. One story has him throwing money into windows, that money landing in the shoes and socks that hung by the fire place. (Have your stockings up yet?)
For all the ways we portray this faithful servant of our Lord Jesus, we should focus on what he actually did during his life: served others with what God had given him. This is of course the core of living as God’s people, sharing what He has given us. This means sharing stuff, sure, but also His love and His Gospel message in all we say and do.
So every year on December 6th, celebrate Saint Nicholas and thank God for his work while he was here. And then, on December 25th, celebrate Jesus. 🙂