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2020 has, of course, been a year unlike any other. Previously, it had become difficult keeping track of time. We often found ourselves asking, “Is it March or August?” But now that the month of December has arrived, there is no doubt that the holiday season is upon us.

Although there is no snow on the ground, cities, have begun hanging festive lights, decorated trees have started appearing in picture windows and digital sales have taken over our newsfeeds. It has become incredibly clear that Christmas is not far ahead, but before we get to December 25, we have a few other special events to celebrate – including St. Nicholas Day, happening on Tuesday, December 6.

St. Nicholas Day is a common holiday in Europe, but, sadly, not as well known here in America, so it should come as no surprise that many of us use the names, Santa Claus and St. Nicholas interchangeably. But the truth is that these two characters have a lot of key differences between them.

Aside from the fact that St. Nicholas was an actual person who lived in the 4th Century, he also gave simple gifts to those in need. After losing his parents at a young age, he used his extensive inheritance to help the less fortunate. His signature act was leaving gold coins in people’s shoes around the city. According to legend, he encouraged practicing compassion every day and actually became the model for Santa Claus himself.

On Monday night (or really anytime in December,) consider surprising your loved one by filling his or her stocking with small, unique gifts. Stocking stuffers can include ideas like artisan soaps, candy, jewelry, toys, memo notepads, keychains and more. For an extra special surprise, you can also provide a donation to their favorite charity made in their honor.

By choosing to make a gift to Lions Pride, you can help us work to continue improving the lives of people all around Wisconsin. Your gift will help to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all other WLF statewide projects – including eyeglass recycling, adult and children’s vision screening, diabetes education and more. If there is a project that is especially important to you or your loved one, simply designate the gift, and you can rest assured knowing that you’re helping the cause. Print the certificate and add it to a stocking for an inspiring gift that also gives back.

Together, we can all embody the spirit of St. Nicholas by remembering to include compassion and charity in our daily lives. Remember, it truly is the reason behind the season.

Happy Holidays from Lions Pride!