A New Christmas Story

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This Christmas Story starts with a baby, his name is Nicholas. He was born in a village called Patara in a place we now call the country of Turkey (I know, it's a funny name for a country).  His parents worked hard at their jobs and God blessed them with plenty of money and with the respect of the people that knew them. As Nicholas grew up his parents taught him about Jesus from the Bible. He learned about Jesus’ love, care and generosity. As he watched his parents live their lives, he saw what those things meant. His parents would love and care for the poor and the needy as best they could with the blessings that they were given.

Then a hard day came. One day while Nicholas was still young, both of his parents died. Nicholas was very sad, but he remembered what his parents taught him. He remembered that Jesus was with him and loved and cared for him. He remembered that Jesus wanted Nicholas to follow Him just as his parents had followed Him. Now all his parents wealth was his and he knew what to do. He would work hard and learn about Jesus from the Bible, so he studied very hard. He became very generous (that means he gave a lot of money and his time to those in need like Widows, orphans, elderly poor, and sick people), sometimes be would even fill up socks (called stockings) with toys and presents and hang them at poor children's homes (sound familiar, hanging stockings filled with presents). The news of his generosity and love spread all over the world, and he was made A Bishop in the church (that would be like if all the churches in your town had one person to take care of what was happening at all of them).

Eventually he became thought of as a saint, saint Nicholas or just saint Nick. And after he died those stories that spread became legends. Many places had a special holiday around Christmas in honor of Saint Nick and as time went on much of the fun things that they did for saint Nick became part of the Christmas holiday. Saint Nick had different names in different places like Sinterklass (sounds like Santa Claus) and Christkindl (sounds kind of like Chris Kringle). This time of year we think of a character named Santa Claus, but he is a story, a story that is legend coming from a man named Nicholas. Saint Nick was real and he was famous because he loved Jesus and others, and that's a great way for any of us to remember and celebrate Christmas.