St. Nicholas

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Things to Talk About While Making St. Nicholas Projects

Making things together provides a good opportunity for informal conversation to help children grow in their understanding of St. Nicholas and why he is important. Here are some ideas to help leaders get started.

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St Nicholas at Canterbury Cathedral
St Nicholas at Canterbury Cathedral
Card by Shirley Veater
St Nicholas Center Collection

• Who is St. Nicholas?

The real St. Nicholas is a man who loved God and who lived a long time ago. . . .

This is an opportunity to talk about who St. Nicholas was and how he served God by caring for those in need. Because Nicholas always wanted people to praise and thank God, not him, he did good deeds in secret.

• St. Nicholas helped people secretly—have you ever helped someone in secret?

• St. Nicholas didn't want credit for what he did—how does it feel to help that way?

• St. Nicholas helped people who needed help-children, sailors, hungry people (during a famine), and those who were the victims of injustice—really people who are the most vulnerable. Talk about who really needs help today and how we, like Nicholas, could help.

• St. Nicholas is loved in many countries—people brought the stories of him to the United States/ He is the real, true Santa Claus.

• How do St. Nicholas and Santa Claus differ?

Santa Claus is round and plump; St. Nicholas is tall and thin.

Santa Claus wears a stocking cap; St. Nicholas wears a bishop's hat.

Santa Claus comes December 25th; St. Nicholas comes December 6th.

Santa Claus is often seen in stores; St. Nicholas is often seen in churches.

Santa Claus flies through the air—from the North Pole;St. Nicholas walked the earth, caring for those in need.

Santa Claus, for some, replaces Jesus at Christmas;St. Nicholas, for all, points to Jesus at Christmas.

Santa Claus isn't bad; St. Nicholas is just better.
—C. Myers & J. Rosenthal

• How can you be a St. Nicholas?

By doing good deeds in secret.

Encourage each child/person to think of one way to be a St. Nicholas for someone this year.


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