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The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pam Hull on November 26, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
WOW!! I had no idea the REAL story behind St. Nick. This was one of the most interesting and fun stories I have ever read. I loved the history. I think it would be great to read from every night until Christmas! This is a book that can be enjoyed by all, young and old. Great read!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is awesome. I was always interested in where Santa Claus came from and why he is celebrated on Christmas rather than his feast day Dec 6th. Very quick read. Very enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know more about the real St. Nicholas and how many of our Christmas traditions originated, this is a great read. Its quick, very interesting, and a wonderful book to share with family and friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We all seem to know something about the origins of our Christmas season. Santa Claus is one part of the season that is probably the most misunderstood. Bill Bennett walks you through the history of St Nicholas showing us that he is more than a bringer of toys. He was a real person and he matter to our modern day Christmas. Bill Bennett does it again.. the author of many books Why We Fight is another that help me better understand the world in which we live.
Thanx
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book. It tells the story of St. Nicholas that we all have heard - how he dropped a bag of coins in the window of some poor townspeople. It then continues to tell of the many legends about this saint. The most interesting part to me was how we came to have the American version of our Santa Claus. This book gave me a refreshed Christmas Spirit and a new way of looking at Santa Claus.
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The author has done a great job of collecting the many ancient stories of the third-fourth century Christian bishop of Myra (now Turkey). He was truly one who set the example of giving gifts to others. Bishop Nicholas was elected bishop of his community at an early age and served honorably. While we do not now have any known personal writings of his, we do have numerous historical details of him and his work for the kingdom of God. Bennett places the story of the bishop in the accurate historical context of the culture and the Christian church. Of course there are no red-nosed reindeer, sleigh in the sky, or people entering and exiting chimneys bearing gifts. This is a great resource for learning about the origin of the icon of the Christmas season, which has now been taken captive by non-Christian and secular images, that are not so much wrong as incomplete. This is a delightful book to enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This small but insightful book gives a very detailed history of St. Nicholas, as well as religious and cultural customs that surround him. Well worth the read for those who love Christmas customs, but also for those who see no correlation between St. Nicholas/Santa Claus and Christmas. It would be an eye-opener.
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This is an easy-reading, well-written "popular" book on the "historical" St. Nicholas. (There are more "scholarly" books available---which Bennett cites in his "Further Reading" section---such as Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bari, and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend, Nicholas: The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus, and Saint Nicholas: Life and Legend.)

He writes in the Introduction to this 2009 book, "there is a larger reason to remember Saint Nicholas. He matters to Christmas. This saintly man who lived so long ago has come to influence one of our holiest seasons and most beloved holidays. This influence that has come across so many centuries is a kind of miracle. It is evidence of God's love. One purpose of this book is to help put Saint Nicholas back into Christmas. It explains his connection with Santa Claus, and the common spirit they share. As you will see, Saint Nicholas makes Santa Claus a larger and richer figure than you might expect him to be."

Here are some additional quotations from the book:

"As time went on, the storytellers embroidered the tales with their imaginations. They told of miracle after miracle. In fact, Nicholas was said to have performed so many miracles, he came to be known as the Wonderworker." (Pg. 46)
"Year by year, Nicholas's fame increased... As time passed, they began to honor the bishop with a new name: Saint Nicholas." (Pg.
Read more ›
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