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Punching heretics in the face, swinging an ax at the demonically possessed and saving babies from being boiled alive. Ah yes, doesn’t that just get you in the Christmas spirit? While these things seem like something out of a strange fairy tale, they were mostly all too real in the days of the early church. And while Christmas, demon banishing axes, and angry religious folk don’t seem to have much to do with that silent, holy night, you might be surprised at just how connected they actually are. These are just a few of the many accounts attributed to Saint Nicholas of Myra. Everyone knows of Santa Claus. The red suit, jolly laugh, big belly, and bag of presents are seasonal icons ushering in peace on earth, or at least that’s how the story goes. But long before Santa’s reindeer soared across the midnight sky, there was a wealthy, young man destined to leave such a lasting impression on Christian history that we would still at least in some way be talking about him to this day. So If you are ready, let me take you down the streets of Christmas past to see who Santa Claus was before the white beard and red cheeks. So toss on your favorite PJs, cozy up together next to a nice fire, Grab yourself some hot cocoa, close your eyes and allow the Yuletide spirit to take you back to where it all began, some 1700 years ago. --- Thank you for listening to this episode of Itinerant. If you enjoy the show, take a moment to subscribe, rate, and share it on with a friend. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and your recommendation is much appreciated. You can find out more about me and the show at itinerantpodcast.com. I co-host another podcast called The Reckless Pursuit. The Reckless Pursuit is a show dedicated to providing a safe place for Christians to ask unsafe questions. If you need a community of people where you can talk about your questions safely, we might just be your tribe. No matter your current church status or even religious views, all questions are welcome to help us grow and lay down our spiritual baggage. So if you feel like a spiritual Nomad we invite you to stop and rest. The journey is long but the beauty lies within it. Visit us there at https://therecklesspursuit.com. And until next time, keep searching, you never know what mysteries lie ahead.

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