Knights of Saint Nicholas
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Saturday, May 09, 2015
By Santa Cliff Snider


I was honored to be among several people knighted into the "Knights of Saint Nicholas" at a recent gathering of the Santa Claus community in Albion, New York.  Here is the creed for this special group of servants:


The Creed of the Knights of St. Nicholas

“I believe in the miracle of the manger and the message of the child who was born as the Messiah as God’s true gift to all mankind. I acknowledge the Passion and the sacrifice made as a paradigm that it is truly better to give than to receive.

“I understand the devotion of Nicholas of Myra and his conviction to God’s love for all mankind as an example to follow. I am a mere mortal who has no magical powers except the belief of loyalty to the tradition of the Advent Season that has been handed down from generation to generation to me by my family and friends.

“I acknowledge that the true basis for the celebration is the child of the manger and I promise to make all children happy to the best of my abilities in His name. I confirm these beliefs to myself and to the Spirit of Christmas as a Knight of St. Nicholas, a servant of people everywhere.”


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Robert Snider - Santa Louis,

I can't tell you how much it means to me to receive this message from you. It was almost ten years ago when I "won" your books at the original Discover Santa Convention. Those books opened the door for me to the fact that I too could be an author, and my subsequent visit with you and Teresa in your Georgia home, gave me the inspiration that I, too, could be a Santa who carried the message of the Christ of Christmas to the children who came to see me.

In my walk with Christ, I have found there is no such thing as coincidences. I believe He puts people in our path to lead us in the direction we are to go. You, my friend, were one of those people who guided me in my walk.


Santa Cliff
Santa Louis MacDonald - Santa Cliff,
I didn’t become a Santa until the Christmas of 1998 & you know the story of my only grandchild’s very brief life and death and how we buried him two days before Thanksgiving of that same year.
Then, as I sat in my decorated Santa chair, dressed in a very celebratory suit, ringing my bells and ‘ho ho ho’-ing, the very first child, a little six year old girl, came to me and after the picture I asked her what she wanted for Christmas. She replied that she just wanted to thank me for what I had already done for her that year! To which I replied that Christmas was still a month away and that I hadn’t even been around yet. However much to my shock and delight, horror and joy, and most of all my chastisement (for how angry I had been over my grandson’s death), the little girl told me that she knew that, when I rang my bells, her little brother got his wings because he was born stillborn!
Well, of that really shook me because I knew that the odds of the two events, my grandson’s death, and the little girl’s stillborn baby brother, happening in such close proximity, were very low without an outstanding coincidence – Or divine influence!
However, my wife Teresa and I were married five years earlier on December 16th, 1993. We went to Orlando for our honeymoon where we went to several places, Disney’s Epcot Center being one of them.
Well, when we got to “The Villages of the World’ exhibit the park had set up the village homes with a different version of Santa Claus, such as; Belgium-Pere Noel, Brazil-Papai Noel, Italy-Babbo Natalie, or United Kingdom-Father Christmas etc.
It was all very interesting and I am the type of individual who thrives on the assimilation of knowledge.
BUT, this the point that I’m getting to. On the way out of The Villages of the World, we noticed a sign that we hadn’t seen on our way in (probably because it was on the side of the ‘exit’ rather than the entrance).
The sign told the story (or possibly ‘a’ story) of St. Nicholas beginning with a fairly commonly known fact, that he came from a wealthy family. It went on to say that his parents died while Nicholas was still young and that while he would inherit his family’s wealth, he would be under the guardianship of an uncle who happened to be a cloistered monk. So Nicholas went to live in the monastery with his uncle where he was immediately put to work studying scriptures like an acolyte or novice. (Now here’s the thing…)
When studying the Word Nicholas came upon the story of the wealthy young man in MATTHEW 19:16-26, and it impressed young Nicholas so strongly, that unlike the young man in the story who went away in distress because he couldn’t part with his wealth- Nicholas decided then and there that he would give his fortune to the poor if it took his whole life to do it!
Then there were pamphlets to be taken freely, that repeated the message on the sign but also went on to tell how he became the patron saint of sailors by providing for their needs. It explained that most of the trips they took in those days took months to get to the places where they would pick up trade goods and get back to the seaports where the Captains or the ship owners sold the goods. However it often took another month or so for the goods to be sold and the men to be paid and because of that, the average sailor was in dire need!
Months at sea, in the salt air, would often eat at the threads of their clothing causing them to need clothes when they returned. Usually any fresh food the ship carried for the crew was gone within the fire few weeks of the voyage and so they ate a good deal of salted meats. When they returned, many of them had scurvy and needed medical care and fresh fruit and vegetables to get rid of the scurvy! So Nicholas provided much for the sailors.
However Nicholas cared and provided food, clothes, and other necessities for families and particularly for children. Often a man, a father of a family, found himself greatly in debt, usually to his employer, or landlord. He would usually be approached to discuss the future of an adolescent daughter by the creditor who was attracted to the daughter. Stories reported that Nicholas would throw a pouch of gold, enough to pay off the debt and maybe buy some essentials, through an open window in their home.
It went on to say that Nicholas eventually became too old and too poor (also after his time as an appointed Bishop) to personally continue helping people. So for two years he spent most of his time in a prayer closet praying for a miracle that somehow the work he did would continue.
Many miracles have been attributed directly or indirectly to Nicholas during his life and after his death but Nicholas would be the first to say it was our Lord Jesus working through him.
Cliff it was all very interesting to a guy on his honeymoon with the woman who showed him what Christ-like love really was but it wasn’t amazing until the Lord called me to serve Him as Santa Claus a descendant of St. Nicholas!
Great site Santa Cliff-!
Santa Bill Moody - Now THAT is the perfect creed and congratulations on being knighted into the organization. Seems like the perfect group for folks like us.
Jim Dyer - Thank you for representing our Santa family so well!
Jim Dyer - Thank you for representing our Santa family so well!
Charles Neill - Outstanding - the best member they could have!
Robert Snider - Thank you Carol for your kind comment.

Santa Cliff
Carol - Proud of all your dedicated work!