Today, we commemorate one of the great saints from the 4th century who was a bishop in what is the present day country of Turkey.
St. Nicholas was known to have given anonymous gifts to help out a family in need. From this tradition...well you know the rest!
The Eastern Orthodox church has a much better understanding of this special day on the church calendar as they hold special services and reenact this tradition of gift giving on the eve of St. Nicholas Day.
So for the people who like to point out that there is a secular Christmas with Santa Claus that is separated from the religious meaning of Christmas, St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) reminds us that many of our present day Christmas traditions are very much connected to the Christian faith.
As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity, let us remember to join St. Nicholas in offering our gifts to people in need.