2006 Christmas stamp, Ukraine, showing St. Nic...
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December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and is well known for his generosity, particularly toward children. His parents died when he was young and he gave away all of his inheritance to help others. He became well known for throwing coins in the windows of the poor families. Some of the coins landed in children’s shoes or stockings and when word got out, many children would hang their stockings in the hopes that St. Nicholas would see to it to throw coins in their stockings. Nicholas went onto become a bishop and ultimately died on December 6th, the holiday which celebrates his life.

In many countries in Europe, St. Nicholas Day is the day on which presents are exchanged. In many countries, Christmas Day is a purely religious holiday with no gifts being exchanged whatsoever.

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