Saint Nicholas

6th December

St. Nicholas has been known by many names! He is Father Christmas for the British children, for the French he is Pere Noel, for the Germans he is Kris Kringle and for many others worldwide he is Santa Claus or just Santa. But there is a real St. Nicholas!

There are few facts that we really know about him. What we know for sure is that he lived some time in the fourth century and that he was elected Bishop of Myra, Asia Minor ( modern day Turkey.) As it happens with several saints who lived in such a faraway time, stories and legends surround their life stories.

With regards St. Nicholas, his love for God, his generosity and his love for children and people who needed various forms of assistance, gave rise to the image of this saint as the giver of gifts, without asking anything in return.

It is believed that Nicholas grew in a family strong in faith, at a time when being a Christian was not easy. From a tender age, he would spend time reading the Bible and he grew up to stand for what he believed in. His strength and source of information was the Bible.

During these weeks leading to the celebration of Christmas;

  • Guide the children to become familiar with the Nativity narratives, not just as stories from a story book but as prayer experiences from the Gospels, the Word of God.
  • You might consider staggering these narratives through the Advent weeks leading up to Christmas.( Use a Children’s Bible or the Gospels : Opening chapters from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.) 
  • Follow with a Christmas Song/Carol. Do not leave the singing of these songs for Christmas Eve!
  • Children might enjoy drawing scenes from the Nativity narratives, that when attached to each other  will present a pictorial sequence of these narratives.
  • You may download images for the children to colour in. (Click here for some suggestions)

The legacy of St. Nicholas is tied to the giving of gifts.

What is a gift? It is something given voluntarily to show affection without expecting payment in return. Ask the children what comes to mind on hearing the word ‘gift’. 

Continue to discuss with them that gifts do not have to be wrapped in colourful wrappers and ribbons. Two of the best gifts one can give to another are time and affection

We give gifts because we want to be thankful, to show our love, to show that we have thought about that person. These might be people who take care of us : parents, guardians, close friends. These kinds of gifts warm the hearts of those who receive them.

Encourage children to phone grandparents/close relatives or close friends just to say: “Hello/ How are you/ I was thinking of you”. Let them make the call instead of you calling and then passing the line to them.

Christmas is getting near. Remind the children that Christmas is actually a celebration of the Birthday of Jesus. What kind of gifts can we offer to the Christ Child?

  • Lead them to discover that good deeds, little sacrifices to be carried out during Advent would be gifts that Jesus would appreciate.
  • Let the older children write their ‘achievements’ of the day on slips of paper while you write down the ‘gifts’ of the little ones.
  • Prepare beforehand (the older ones can do it themselves) a decorated bag/envelope with their name on it .
  • Collect their ‘gifts’ and leave the bag in a special place eg. a Nativity picture/scene/crib.

Dear Parents /Guardians, the best gift we give the children in our care is time and affection. These ‘gifts’ are more precious than expensive toys and holidays. They will remember these moments long after the toys get broken or discarded. Search for these moments as your special ‘gift’. You will be giving them “a portion of your life” because our life is made up of time.

Christmas is round the corner and we all have heard about Santa Clause! St. Nicholas was a generous person, in fact he helped the poor and the needy with special gifts. 

St. Nicholas’s sack!

Follow this video to create a sack. Fill this sack with stationery or sweets and give it to someone in need. Make sure that you will tell the story of St. Nicholas as well!! 😉

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.