Class Act: St. Andrew students learn the history of St. Nick

HELENA – Students at St. Andrew School had the chance to learn more about the origin of Santa Claus Wednesday with the feast of Saint Nicholas.

St. Nicholas was a fourth century bishop of Myrna, present day Antalya Province of Turkey, who was known for his love for the poor and children.

Dec. 6 is celebrated world-wide as the feast of St. Nicholas to honor his legacy.

Students at St. Andrew left their shoes out in the school halls in hope that St. Nicholas would fill them with treats. The students also read poems and stories about Santa Claus to learn how modern the modern image of Santa came to be.

Principal of the school Donna Smillie said teaching the virtues of St. Nicholas are at the core of the holiday season.

“[St. Nicholas] gave so that nobody would see him,” said Smillie, “He was doing it very quietly and he didn’t want to be thanked for it. These are virtues that you want to instill in children. Not to think of themselves but to think of another person.”

Smillie added that the kids always have a great time with the event and it’s a fun reason to eat some candy.

St. Andrew School has been practicing the tradition of St. Nicholas for over 20 years.