“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13
Tomorrow is December 6th. That may not mean much to you unless it is your birthday or anniversary, or some other specific occasion. For those of us from a certain generation and certain religious/cultural background however, it is kind of a big day. You see, December 6th is the feast of St. Nicholas- St. Nicholas Day.
Of course, “Old St. Nick” is the precursor of Santa Claus. This venerable tradition was very much a part of my childhood in a western suburb of Cincinnati, which was heavily German-Catholic. We would put shoes out for St. Nicholas to visit and he would put a little present into the shoe. That was the tradition, but as I recall, St. Nicholas found a way to get a little present to us on the porch whether or not we put out a shoe.
I have encouraged my kids to celebrate this tradition with their own children, and they have faithfully done this. The point of this is not presents, just like the traditions of Christmas are not about gifts. It is a reminder that those who love others us want to find opportunities to give gifts to them. Just like our heavenly father wants to give us good gifts.
So, if you want to make this Christmas season a little special just a little early, have St. Nicholas visit your family, or maybe some other family with a little porch gift.
It is a beautiful tradition.
Prayer: Thank you for the plan of giving good gifts to your children, Amen