According to one legend, there was once a boy who grew up in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in a rich family with generous parents. Sadly, his parents died when he was very young, leaving him a wealthy boy. At his core, this boy was kind and generous, intent on surprising others with secret generosity.
A beloved story about his generosity involved a poor man who had three daughters. As with the customs of the time, the man had no money to offer a financial gift to the bridegroom parents on the wedding day. Therefore, his daughters were unable to get married.
The generous boy learned about the father and his three daughters. One night, while they were sleeping, he secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney. The bag of gold accidentally slipped into a stocking that was hung by the fire to dry!
Can you imagine the surprise to come out in the morning and discover gold in a stocking hung under the chimney?
This happened not once, but twice, when another daughter hung her stocking by the fireplace and she too, discovered gold the next morning.
The father, intent on finding out who the generous donor was, stayed by the fireplace all night until whoosh! Another bag of gold came down the chimney. He ran outside to discover the generous boy delivering the secret bag of gold. The boy humbly begged the father to keep his identify a secret for he didn’t want to bring attention to his kind act.
Soon, the news emerged and anyone in the town who happened upon such luck credited the generous boy, who we’ve come to love and refer to as Santa Claus. St. Nick’s legend and stories were swapped with townspeople, sailors at sea, and years later, were revived in the Victorian era, where people referred to the kind boy as St. Nick.
Today, some people celebrate this Christmas legend by hanging stockings on the fireplace mantle and stuffing them with gifts. We credit this legend to a kind boy who saw fit to secretly give a gift of pure gold. Perhaps we can emulate his generous spirit this holiday season and all year long.
What holiday legends, stories and beliefs do you practice this holiday season? However you celebrate, may kindness be the legacy you leave.