During my first Advent in America, in 1949,

I learned that Santa Claus came on Christmas Eve

and not on the feast of St. Nicholas as he does in parts of Europe.

There, this beloved saint brings gifts to children on December 6th.

It turned out that my new family came to collect me from the UNRA (United Nations

Refugee Agency) receiving home for war orphans in the Bronx, on December 5th.

Nicholas is also the name of the man whose adopted daughter I came to be.