11/29/10  Saint Nicholas will return to Culver at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic church Monday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. for the church’s annual Saint Nicholas Day after-school party for all ages.

St. Nicholas himself, dressed more as he would have during the fourth century A.D. (that is, as a Christian bishop), will appear at the party to greet participants and discuss how Christmas traditions concerning Santa Claus evolved from the real-life St. Nicholas.

Multimedia looks at the various ways St. Nicholas has been presented (and his evolution into the figure we today know of as Santa Claus) over the years will be shown, as well as a short animated clip on St. Nicholas’ real life. There will also be refreshments, games, and music, all aimed at a fun and educational look at the real life of the beloved, iconic saint.

Children will also learn about the European tradition of St. Nicholas’ leaving chocolate coins in the shoes of children on Dec. 6, a tradition that began during his lifetime of leaving money in the stockings and shoes of needy families in the city where he lived. St. Nicholas may be demonstrating that tradition in Culver on Dec. 6 at the event.

St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop in what is today Turkey during the fourth century, has been a beloved figure in Christian and non-Christian circles since his own lifetime, and has evolved in more modern years into “Santa Claus” (a derivative of the Dutch “Sinter Klauss,” which means, “St. Nicholas”).

Everyone is invited to this free, ecumenical event for all ages. The party will take place in the basement of St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, 124 College Ave. in Culver.  For more information, please contact the church at 574-842-2522 or via email at stmarys@culcom.net.