One man’s legacy – and your Christmas Day celebrations
More than 1,000 years ago, the plight of three girls trapped in poverty caught the attention of a nearby bishop.
This is a paragraph.The father of the girls could not scrape together enough money for a dowry, so they could marry. Instead, the girls were heading for a lifetime of prostitution. Nicholas of Bari – a bishop from Myra in (what is now) Turkey – couldn’t let that happen.
The story goes that one night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney into the house; a dowry for the oldest daughter. The coins fell into a stocking which had been hung by the fire to dry out.
The following evening, he dropped another bag of gold for the second daughter. And the next night, a final bag for the third daughter. The father was lying in wait this evening – and at last identified the mysterious gift-giver.
From then on, whenever someone received a secret or unexpected present, they knew: Nicholas had paid a visit. Today, the legacy of St Nicholas lives on in the form of Father Christmas – the generous benefactor who drops gifts down our chimney, bringing delight on Christmas morning.