WALLA WALLA - A St. Nicholas Day celebration at Assumption Church on Dec. 4 promises to include all the elements traditionally associated with the Christmas holiday season, but organizers say they also want to reintroduce the oft-forgotten original "St. Nicholas."
From 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Assumption Church Community Hall, 1098 E. Alder St., guests can enjoy an all-you-can-eat $3 pancake breakfast, shop for Christmas presents at a market of hand-crafted gifts, buy holiday goods at a seasonal bake sale, and have pictures taken with St. Nicholas and/or Santa Clause.
The spirit of the historical St. Nicholas will be honored, said organizer Christy Anne Hall, by donating all proceeds to the "Smile Train." A not-for-profit organization, Smile Train provides free surgery to children (in approximately 80 developing countries) who suffer from lip and cleft palates.
The original "St. Nicholas," a devout young Greek man who lived in what is now the southern coast of Turkey, spent his life and his fortune helping the needy and the sick, said Hall. Centuries of cultural transitioning have turned the devout and serious young "Bishop Nicholas" into the jolly elf of Santa Claus.
The original St. Nicholas and his passion for helping others should be honored during the holidays, said Hall, as he represents the truest Christmas spirit. "We don't want St. Nicholas to be forgotten."