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Monday, 6 December 2010

Saint Nicolas

Saint Nicholas, Sinta Klaus, Santa Claus, the old Bishop of Smyrna has certainly gathered names and legends, and, sadly, become confused with a number of pagan figures and legends along the way.

Today is his feast day, and the day on which, traditionally, gifts were given and exchanged - until the great captains of commerc discovered the gold mine and turned acts of love and charity into opportunities for excess. Yes, I know, I'm sounding curmudgeonly, and I've no desire to spoil anyone's fun, but I'm getting very tired of the constant attempts at this season to 'take Christ out of Christmas' and replace His feast with "Winterval" or some other meaningless reason to 'celebrate' spending vast amounts of money.

This came home to me last year amid the dire predictions that "High Street Sales figures were down and showed that profits would not recover..." Christmas is not about 'profit' it is about the birth of a baby who, whether you believe the Gospel or not, has shaped the history of the last two thousand years. Even Muslims celebrate His birth, though, in their canon, He is named Isa and rated a mere 'Prophet' - something the Politically Correct ignoramuses of our society do not know - and if they do - don't understand.

So, today, I will remember the real Saint Nicolas, Bishop of Smyrna, benefactor of the poor. His anonymous gifts to those in need are the foundation of our tradition of giving and exchanging gifts with friends and family. Perhaps we should consider a return to a simpler way of marking this season. It might make a difference to the attitudes of the ignorant and the greedy.

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