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Sinterklaas. Saint Nicholas. Old Saint Nick. Father Christmas....

Was he based on Basil of Caesarea, Saint Nicholas of Turkey, or ODIN of ASGAARD?

Wherever he came from, he is quite older than the 2,000 or so years of the Christianity he has come to represent.

The tradition of leaving food out for a magical winter visitor may have began with the FEAR of the Wild Hunt, ODIN'S yearly ride through the frozen night skies....

Children in Germany were encouraged to leave STRAW and VEGETABLES in their BOOTS near the fireplace at night to appease the eight-legged horse that Odin rode on his hunts, SLEPPNIR.

A grateful Odin would replace the straw and food with CANDY for the children....

It is WHY we hang up those STOCKINGS each year.....

The spirit of giving that infuses the world for just this ONE DAY each year is truly REMARKABLE, no matter what HUMBUG you hear from the grousers....

So WHAT if it has become just a clever marketing ploy for RETAILERS? There are worse things, believe me.....

You KNOW you truly enjoy buying presents for others, whether you really have the spirit or have just gotten in line with all the rest of us....

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all reading this, and if you think NO ONE really means it, well, I DO!

I mean it with all the Lights, Emotion and Magic this season brings.

Remember being a kid, laying in bed at night, those FEELINGS you got watching the lights from the Christmas Wheel or Tree as it bathed the hallway and living room with it's ever changing display of primary colors?

The STILL of the night on Christmas Eve?

The feelings you got watching the faces of your kids as they opened their presents on Christmas Day?

Well, THAT'S how I mean it!


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