Our opening tonight is made up of facts and legends from several countries such as Greece, Holland, Scandinavia, and the United States.
The legends about St. Nicholas have spread to many countries. He takes many forms and his day is December 6, which is the anniversary of his death in 342 A.D. Many miracles and stories are told about him such as the ransoming of three kidnapped girls, the arrival of grain ships during a famine, protecting the poor and the sailors at sea.
The Dutch called him "Sinterklass". In 1664 they adopted the good saint as a giver of gifts. It was in 1822 that Clement Clark Moore of New York City wrote "Twas the Night Before Christmas" about the visits of St. Nicholas and his gifts. It was in 1865 that Thomas Nash drew the Santa Claus with a red suit, white whiskers and a pot betty, thereby setting the way for the Santa as we know him today.
With good thoughts of St. Nicholas and our holiday time of year, please stand and join me now in the Pledge to our flag.