On December 6, we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas, a 4th century saint who was a Greek bishop. He is remembered for his secret gift giving – putting coins and other small gifts in the shoes left out for him by friends, neighbors and the needy. Gift giving in secret was intended to have people thank God rather than Bishop Nicholas for the gifts received. St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, students and children. Most Christian countries throughout the world have some customs of gift giving during the Advent and Christmas season which reflect the secret gift giving of St. Nicholas. However, in parts of the Western world, the feast of St. Nicholas has morphed into Santa Claus, sometimes leaving us ignorant of the blessings and example of St. Nicholas.