It’s not every day you get to look at a chunk of someone from actual folklore. St. Nikolaos of Myra was not, of course, anyone who ever associated himself with the European tradition of winter gift-givers. He probably never heard of them — why should he have? he was not European — and if he had, he would no doubt have considered them pagan monstrosities. That’s only fair; they are, which is why I am so fond of them.
Still, we don’t see a lot of euhemerism these days. When I was younger, Elvis looked like he was going to make it into the pantheon; now, as more of his fans have passed away, he’s lost his gleam. But we’ll always have Santa. Except for about an hour after that difficult conversation when you are seven.