Here’s an image for you. Think of Santa Claus, yes jolly old St. Nick, sitting around with a group of his peers, listening to a guy speak. The speaker then makes a comment that denies the divinity of Christ. Imagine then, our cheerful and charity-driven St. Nick rising from his seat and crossing the room to stand alongside the speaker. Envision the sparkle in his eyes as he draws back his merry hand and, without so much as a “Ho, Ho, Ho,” slaps the speaker across the face with all the strength that his jovial person can muster.
Doesn’t really fit the "classic" Santa image, does it? This is exactly what St. Nicholas, as bishop of Myra, did at the Council of Nicea in 325. Basically, he had enough of the Arian lunacy that was being proclaimed and decided to shut their pie holes with the most blunt means at his disposal, in this case, the back of his hand. Isn't this story much more awesome than riding around with flying reindeer, though? It certainly grabs the kids' attention when you tell it to them. While the top picture is probably a bit more accurate as to St. Nicholas's appearance, I like the one on the bottom because there's something about the eyes where you can sort of see the man who would silence heresy in this most old-fashioned of ways.