Wednesday, December 06, 2006
St. Nicholas was Not a Unitarian
As a matter of fact, he was so much NOT a Unitarian that he punched our guy Bishop Arius in the nose during the council of Nicea. Oops.
Nice guy other than that; into helping the poor and all.
During my ministerial internship I lived with a family who celebrated St. Nicholas Day as the start of the Christmas festivities. I was given a pound bag of pecans with which to make Christmas cookies, and was charmed by the tradition. The next year I set up housekeeping for myself and began the tradition of celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I didn't know about his altercation with Bishop Arius, who championed Unitarian theology in the early church. A Husband and then a child later, we got into a Major Family Tradition. December 6th was the day for decorating the house, the kind of nice family dinner that we don't get on Christmas Eve, and it always happened that late in the evening, someone would hear the clop of St. Nicholas' horse and we'd pour out of the house. He always managed to get out of our subdivision sight unseen, but he did always leave a few presents to help us decorate and wait for Christmas.
My disappointment in discovering my holiday hero's indiscretion is keen, and my 16 year old is only affectionately tolerant of the holiday these days. His school's art show (mandatory for students in art classes) and a chess meet claimed his attention, and ours, so we were not home when the white horse clopped through and left his heretic fans a few presents to help us wait for Christmas.