Once upon a time, long ago, there was a young man called Nicholas. He was good and kind – in particular he was generous. Nicholas was a Christian and because he was such a good man and respected by many people he was made a bishop. Later, people called him a saint – Saint Nicholas.
Like all people called saints, his life was held up as an example of how we ought to live. Many churches were dedicated to him. However, in the 19th century the real St Nicholas turned into the figure of Santa Claus.
Like St Nicholas, Santa Claus gives presents. But in the 20th century Santa Claus seems to have become the patron saint of greed and spending. The emphasis is no longer on giving, but on getting.
To get behind the modern Santa and to find out more about the real Saint Nicholas, click on the numbered squares on the image of Santa Claus. As you do, the real Saint Nicholas will be revealed. In each section you will learn something of his story, of how St Nicholas was turned into Santa Claus, and there will be an idea for a simple gift that you can make to give someone at Christmas.
Reset the calendar, if you want to start again.