St. Nicholas Day is always celebrated December 6, 2012. Saint Nicholas was truly a christian saint who lived in the the country of Greece. Saint Nicholas gave up his belongings and followed Christ into the ministry of being a priest and later a Bishop of the early Catholic Church. Famed for giving to the needy people, especially the children.
The practice of hanging up stockings originated with Saint Nicholas. As the ancient legend goes, Saint Nicholas was known to throw small bags of gold coins into the open windows of poor homes. After one bag of gold fell into the stocking of a child, news got around. Children soon began hanging their stocking by their chimneys "in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there".
It wasn't until the 1800's that the spirit of St. Nicholas' life evolved into the creation of Santa Claus. And, this happened in America. Santa Claus emerged (or evolved) from the stories and legends of St. Nicholas. Santa Claus was kind and generous to children. Unlike "St. Nick", Santa Claus is largely a non-religious character.