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The History of St. Nick ~ Merry #Christmas #ChristmasEve Santa Claus

The writer in me loves crafting posts about the origins of our holidays and the reasons we celebrate in certain ways or fear certain dates. Some of my most popular posts have been on the Origin of HalloweenFinding Easter's DateThe Number 13, and Origins of Superstitions.

While most people are familiar with the story of Jesus's birth in Bethlehem, many are unaware of how a 4th century Bishop influenced the legend of Santa Claus.

Saint Nicholas, or Nikolaos of Myra, was a bishop in an ancient town in Lycia--now Demre, in the Antalya Province of Turkey. One of his most well-known deeds involved giving unexpected gifts, one of which landed in a stocking.  In the story, Nicholas wanted to help three young girls, whose father had no money for their dowries.  At that point in history, such a fate would result in a life of prostitution. Not wanting to embarrass the poor father, Nicholas threw bags of gold coins through the windows.  In one version of the tale, the father laid in wait to discover who was doing this...and so instead of throwing the third bag through the window, Nicholas dropped it down the chimney, and it landed in a stocking hung to dry by the fire.

Sinterklaas rides
a white horse
The Dutch figure of Sinterklass is based upon Saint Nick, and he more resembles the white-bearded man in red we're all familiar with. In turn, our Santa Claus is derived from Sinterklass, and it's widely believed that he was introduced to North America around the time of the Revolutionary War, by inhabitants of New York City, which was once New Amsterdam, a Dutch colony.

Of course, many other sources have combined to shape both the modern-day image of Santa Claus and the various legends and traditions which have evolved (decorating trees, sleighs pulled by reindeer, winter feasts and festivals, etc.).  Those will be topics for another day and another blog!

I'm hoping my blog readers who celebrate Christmas have finished the gift-buying and food preparation that comes along with the holiday, and have some time to relax and enjoy the magic of the season.  And if you need a book to help you de-stress, check out one of my novels - each one is filled with romance, mystery, and suspense - something for everyone! Also perfect as a last-minute gift, since all you need to send someone a Kindle copy is an email address.  Each one is less that the price of a card, and if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can get SILVER LAKE free for a limited time, thanks to its inclusion in their new Prime Reading program. 
The tabs at the top of the page will take you to the blurb for each book, but I've also included Amazon links below. Happiest of holidays!



GULL HARBOR - A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await psychic medium Claire Linden in Cape Cod's Gull Harbor (a #1 Amazon and #1 Barnes + Noble Bestseller)

DANGEROUS CURRENTS - New Release!  One fateful night tore them apart...will they get a second chance before a killer strikes? 



THE HAUNTING OF HILLWOOD FARM - Available on 1/04/2019!  Just named the BEST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE of 2018 at N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews!  This edge-of-your seat ghost mystery + romance is currently up for pre-order on Amazon (link here) *or* available *now* until 12/31 in the USA Today Bestselling LOVE UNDER FIRE Box Set, a collection of 21 Romantic Suspense Thrillers found on Amazon here.  

HAUNTED SOULS - Steamy military romance mixed with spooky suspense - named one of the Top 3 Books of 2016 at Read Freely!

SILVER LAKE - A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past (a #1 Amazon Bestseller)

DIVINE FALL - Romance, Revenge, and a Rogue Fallen Angel (award-winning Young Adult - this one is suitable for ages 13+)

Treat yourself to hours of entertainment and relaxation!

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