Re: Culturally Sensitive Xmas/Religious References
Bob Evans (evans@THEBORG.WES.ARMY.MIL)
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 09:26:17 -0600
> On 16 Dec 96 at 10:29, Cheryl Singhal wrote:
>No argument from me. However, the man who became Saint Nicholas got the
>idea of gift-giving at the holiday season from somewhere. And that
>somewhere was NOT the Judeo-Christian background.
I'm sorry, but I disagree.
Nicholas did not give gifts depending on any holiday.
Actually, this is the basic story of St. Nicholas:
Nicholas was from a wealthy family and inherited quite
a bit. He was also a Christian. One day, he heard about
a neighbor who was in financial trouble to the point that
if he did not find money soon, his 3 daughters would be
sold to pay his debts.
The night before the deadline, Nicholas secretly dropped
more than enough money into the man's home. (Some say that
he dropped it down the chimney, others through the window.)
The father heard him and caught him in the act. At any rate,
this started Nicholas on the path to donating all of his
inheritance to the poor and the Church. He was eventually
made a Bishop and was imprisoned by the Romans for years
before he was released.
So, why did Nicholas give his gifts? It was definitely
because of his Christian beliefs. Did he originate giving
at Christmas time? No, his gifts were delivered at all times.
Is giving a strictly Christian thing. No, of course not.
Bottom line: Nicholas was known as a generous giver to all
at all times. Gift giving at Christmas or other holidays is
not just Christian. Since Nicholas was known as a giver and
Christians adopted a 'giving' attitude at Christmas, they
also adopted Nicholas as a symbol of their giving.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City