Saint Nick

[Luke and Jess walk out of the diner; Jess is carrying a garbage bag] ….

LORELAI: Hi, Saint Nick.

Saint Nicholas of Myra (270-343), a bishop in the early Christian church of Greek descent, living in Myra in Asia Minor (now Demre in Turkey). Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of (among other things) children and students, and his feast day is December 6.

The saint’s legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional Christian icon of Santa Claus, through the Dutch figure Sinterklaas. On December 6, his feast day is celebrated with gift-giving, and the saint is portrayed as an elderly, serious man with long white hair and a beard, wearing red vestments over a white bishop’s robe.

Saint Nick is an English translation of Sinterklaas, and the American Santa Claus and Christmas traditions which arose in the 19th century seem to be a nostalgic revival of earlier Dutch folklore from immigrants to New York. Santa Claus is called Saint Nick in the Christmas poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, previously discussed.

Lorelai calls Jess “Saint Nick” because he is carrying a garbage bag, which Lorelai likens to Santa’s sack of presents. This is the second time that Lorelai has sarcastically referred to Jess as Santa Claus or Saint Nick – the first time was to accuse him of stealing Rory’s bracelet. Using the reference again seems to be a veiled barb, and a reminder to Jess that she is watching him.

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