St. Nicholas was a bishop always depicted with a beard and cloth robes. He was known for giving gifts, particularly pertaining to a story where he gave gifts to 3 daughters of a poor Christian to prevent them from becoming prostitutes. He also, on several accounts, bailed many prisoners out of jail who were put there false accounts made against them. This is mainly where the gift-giving of the modern version comes from. His death on December 6th lead to the common ritual of giving children gifts as a way to celebrate his memory. Despite the Reformation in 1500’s that lead to the creation of the Protestant sect and snuffed out the use or meaning of Saints, St. Nicholas’ legacy was very prevalent in other cultures. In fact, although Protestants had changed the dates of both the eve and day of Yule, the Dutch still recognized the original date of December 6th, leading into the next predecessor later seen in that culture.
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