|St. Nicholas of Myra|
by Jaroslav Čermák
There are many legends about St. Nicholas, which may or may not be 100% true, but which are surely underpinned by his real and renowned charity--charity both in the sense of giving to those in need, and the Christian charity of agape. One of these legends is that a man had three young daughters, but no money for their dowries, so as each one came of an age to marry, St. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins into her window.
It is the custom for children to leave out their shoes on the eve of December 6 so that St. Nicholas can fill them with goodies. When my children were young, I would give them candy: sometimes a candy cane, to remind them of his bishop's staff, a bag of gold foil-covered chocolate coins, and a small Santa ornament that looked as much as possible like St. Nicholas. I think that one time I found a tiny book about St. Nicholas, but I'm not sure.
This year I was a little sad thinking about how there weren't any more little shoes in the house, so I fixed up a shoe for my husband. I gave him some chocolate coins, but they really aren't very tasty, so I also got him the kind of chocolate he really likes. My problem was that I forgot to do it last night, and only remembered when I saw Gretchen's post this morning, and he was already awake and reading in bed, but somehow I managed to sneak his shoe out without his knowing what I was doing.
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And another Advent hymn.