A Christmas Legend
Once upon a time, there was a good man. The man’s name was Nicholas. He was rich. He had a big house. He had a lot of food and rich clothes. He was like a king.
Nicholas was rich, but he was sad. He was sad because he was alone. He had no family. He had no parents, no love, and no children. “Being alone is terrible. Love makes you rich,” thought Nicholas.
So Nicholas had an idea. He loved people, and he wanted to share his riches. At night, he went silently around the city. Nicholas had a big bag of food. He went to the houses of the city’s poor. These poor people had no food. So Nicholas left them food. He left a bag of food by the door of the houses. Silently, he left. He wanted the food to be a surprise.
The next day, the poor people left their houses. They saw a mysterious bag. They saw food in the bag! They were very happy, but very surprised! “Who was so generous? Who left the food?” they asked. It was a mystery.
The next night, Nicholas went back to the poor part of the city. This time, he had a bag of clothes. He went to the houses of the poor. They had poor, torn clothes. He left the bag of new clothes. He left silently so the people would not see who left the clothes.
The next day, the poor people left their houses. They opened the door. Then, they saw the bag. They saw new clothes in the bag! “Who left the clothes?” they asked.
The next night, Nicholas went back to the poor. This time, he had a bag of money. The poor had no money and Nicholas had a lot of money. Silently, he left a bag of money by the door of each house.
The people were very, very surprised and happy. “Who was so generous? Who left these surprises?” they asked. But the people suspected it was Nicholas. “There are many rich men. But Nicholas is a rich man and a good man. It must be Nicholas who left the clothes and food,” they said.
Nicholas was not sad anymore. The poor were not suffering anymore. Nicholas loved the people and the people loved Nicholas.
Nicholas believed in love. He believed in God’s love. Eventually Nicholas became a bishop. He had a white and red robe and hat. He had an official Bishop’s staff. The poor people loved their new bishop because he was generous.
But one day Nicholas died. The people were very sad that Nicholas was dead. He was such a good, generous man. They called him Saint Nicholas because they loved him.
In Europe, children celebrate Saint Nicholas’ Day on December 5th.
Some children leave an old shoe near the door. Some children leave out an old sock or stocking. Silently, at night Saint Nicholas leaves surprises for children.