St. Nicholas is the patron of children. According to one legend, he supplied three destitute maidens with dowries by secretly leaving a marriage-portion for each at their window. This started the legend of him being a purveyor of presents to children on Christmas Eve.
He usually makes his appearance as an old man with a venerable beard and dressed as a bishop, either riding a white horse or an ass and carrying a large basket on his arm and a bundle of rods in his hand.
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