Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus and Father Christmas, is actually the patron saint of pawnbroking. He was known for his work with the poor and his abounding generosity. It is a little known tale to most people, but pawnbrokers know it well.
The story is that a poor man in Saint Nicholas’s town was unable to afford a dowry for his three daughters. With no dowry to offer prospective husbands their lives looked bleak. However, St. Nicholas came to the rescue leaving three bags of gold in the night for each of the daughters saving them from a life of misery and despair.
Today those three bags of gold can be seen represented in the three gold spheres that have become the symbol of the pawn shop. Saint Nicholas day and National Pawnbrokers Day fall on December 6th. It is a day where many pawnbrokers make the extra effort to give back to their communities.
In most communities, pawnbrokers are lifeline for the poor. Additionally, pawnbrokers are known for their generosity in donations and the work they do in giving back to the community. Check out GiftDay.org for countless examples of how pawnbrokers give to charitable organizations all across the U.S.
The story of St. Nicholas is a reminder to all of us in the holiday season to be generous with what we have and to give back to our communities and to those in need.