St. Nicholas Day: Gifts with a Purpose

In many countries December 6th is a special day where children receive gifts from Saint Nicholas, a 4th century bishop who is remembered in both Eastern and Western churches. Although not many exact details are known about his life, the Eastern church recognizes this saint as a “preacher of the Word of God and spokesman of the Father,” while the Western church has passed down stories of his timely provision of dowries for poor girls in his city who otherwise would have been forced into prostitution and his reputation for helping the poor and oppressed.

A beer-brewing buddy informed me that Saint Nicholas is also the patron saint of brewers. (Who knew? No wonder this saint is so popular in Europe!)

Think about giving gifts. During Advent we await the birth of Jesus on Christmas, but it’s also when we scramble to find gifts for loved ones, neighbors, friends, colleagues – whoever makes our gift lists. Finding gifts may be a burdensome task, but it can be an opportunity to share gifts with a purpose – items that help others, educate, and inspire. There are Fair Trade options that help overseas communities, crafts from local artisans, fruitcakes and fudge from monasteries, issue-oriented books, inspirational DVDs, and gifts that lift spirits (music, hot chocolate & tea!)

There are also precious homemade gifts, like the woolen scarves my sis Shere knits each year, treasured and gratefully used on days when it’s birrizzy cold outside!

As you tick names off your lists, consider how to give purpose-driven gifts.

Methinks Saint Nicholas would approve!

grace, peace & purpose-driven gifts

Virginia : )

“The Giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.” Saint Nicholas of Myra

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