“His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry”
“A visit from St. Nicholas” or more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” is a much loved poem traditionally read to children before they go to sleep on Christmas eve, bundled up with excitement and love. It was first published anonymously in 1823 but was later claimed by Clement Clarke Moore in 1837 however, some believe it to have been written by Henry Livingstone Jr.
Conjuring up feelings of excitement and hope, Father Christmas comes from St. Nicholas, a bishop who lived in the fourth century and was from Myra in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey.
St. Nicholas was a rich man, his parents died when he was young and left him their fortune. Above all, what has made St. Nicholas go down in history, was his great kindness. He helped many people and gave secret gifts to those less fortunate than himself. We put stockings up for Father Christmas in honour of St. Nichola and this wonderful tale:
There was a poor man with three daughters who St. Nicholas knew of. He had no money for a dowry which meant that his daughters could never marry. One night, unbeknown to the man, Nicholas dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into their home knowing that with this gift, the eldest daughter would then be able to marry. In a wonderfully poetic manor the gold fell into a stocking that was drying by the fire! Nicholas repeated this for each daughter.
Because of his great kindness, Nicholas was made saint not only of children but also of sailors. The story goes that there was a storm raging off the now Tu
rkey coast. St. Nicholas prayed for the safety of these sailors, ordered the storm to pass, and bring the sailors safely back to port.
During the persecution by the Emperor Diocletian, St. Nicholas was exiled from Myra and imprisoned. His true date of death is unknown, but it is believed to be the 6th of December 345 and we celebrate the feast day of St. Nicholas on the 6th December to this day.
As the centuries passed the stories evolved it is fabulous to know that in England still to this day we t receive presents from Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.
At Deans Place we have our own festive traditions which we look forward to each year, including our ever popular Christmas Tree Lighting. This year we were pleased to support two fantastic local charities Alfriston Primary School and St Wilfred’s Hospice and raised £524 from your generous donations, visits to Father Christmas, raffle ticket sales, tombola and Seaford Bouncy Castles who generously brought his bouncy castle and bouncy slide with all proceeds going to the charities.
Being a family business we love to create a home from home experience for all our wonderful guests over the festive period. The Dopson family traditionally host Christmas Eve drinks, welcoming all the guests for what will be a lovely Christmas!
May we take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last twelve months, and we greatly look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”