On Sunday, December 6th (during the first Sunday of Advent) St. James’ children were escorted upstairs to the Parish Hall, at 10:45, just before church service let out. The two sets of doors in the Parish Hall were closed behind them. There was a loud knock at the door. The kids answered it. It was Saint Nicholas. He brought all the kids candy canes, ginger bread cookies, chocolate gold coins, and a little story about who St. Nicholas was that read as follows:
“St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (Turkey) in the 4th century. He was a very wealthy man and he used all of his money to help those in need. There are many famous stories about his efforts, particularly on behalf of children and sailors. One legend involves three young sisters who had no money for a dowry. To remain anonymous he threw three bags of gold through their window so that they could marry and have respectable lives. The gold coin represents the bags of gold. Isn’t it interesting to know how the Legend of Santa Claus began?”
A few of the older children were confused as to who St. Nicholas was and how he fit in with Santa Claus at Christmas time. The kids asked St. Nicholas (Pam Mitchel’s grandson “Connor”), “Are you Santa Claus, too? Do you go down the chimney or use the front door? Where are all your presents?” Needless to say, the children were relieved to learn that St. Nicholas was a real man who lived a long time ago, and Santa Claus is still alive and well at Washington Square Mall!