Feast of St. Nicholas
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 12 step Eucharist, December 6, 2017
Very little is known of the life of Nicholas, bishop of Myra who lived in Asia Minor around 342. He is the patron of seafarers, sailors and more especially of children. As a bearer of gifts to children, his name was brought to America by the Dutch colonists in New York where he popularly became known as Santa Claus.
The feast day of St. Nicholas has been celebrated in our family as a major holiday. We have a big family meal together. My husband dresses up as Bishop Nicholas with a beard, a miter, and crozier and long red stole and comes to visit our grandchildren after dinner. He speaks Greek to the children and the adults. Speaking Greek is my husband’s favorite pastime, and of course you know that Nikolas was Greek. Nike the Greek! Then our grandchildren go into the bedrooms and leave their shoes outside the doors and Bishop Nicholas leaves chocolate coins and presents in their shoes. I won’t bore you with our pictures of this family event, but they are stunning.
Why am I sharing with you our family story? For the last several years on this feast day, I sit and watch this pageant and am filled with so much gratitude, for my sobriety date is close to the feast day of St. Nicholas. Each year I know that if someone had not led me to a recovery program, I would not be alive tonight. I would not be witnessing this wonderful blessing of seeing my children and grandchildren giggle with glee as they try to respond to a beautiful old man with a fake beard speaking Greek to them and secretly giving them candy in their shoes. For me it is a yearly reminder to keep working these 12 steps so I can be around for another feast day of St. Nicholas.