Today is, if you didn't know it, St Nicholas' Day!
The day when we celebrate the man who began the tradition of giving presents that causes the shops to swell and ring out their cash registers in the run up to Christmas (although of course it's the click of keypads these days as it's cash transferred electronically);
So a blesséd and peaceful St Nick's Day (have you got your chocolate Santa?)
Living in the fourth-century in SW Turkey (the port of Myra) where he was a bishop and dying on the 6th december (hence the Saints Day today) - Nicholas has one of the nicest stories and tradtions to be found anywhere today . . . Are you sitting comfortably?
Nicholas, hearing of a man who was so poor that he could not afford to pay the dowries for his three daughters, a situation that meant they would remain unmarried all their lives (and probably end up having to live of immoral means), came stealthily to the girls windows and deposited in their stocking the required money to enable them to be married off. This is an act that changed the direction of their lives, protected their virtues and effectively redeemed them (which is not bad for a Christian act - is it?).
And so Ladies and Gentlemen - St Nicholas (AKA Father Christmas) - A Christian hero !