St. Nicholas Day 2015
Last year I started doing St. Nicholas Day tradition with Jenson as a fun way to start off the holiday season. As a back story, the history St. Nicholas is actually what where the story of Santa came from. St. Nicholas’ wealthy parents died while he was young and he committed to obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor”, and used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. While there are many legends of his good deeds, some include him tossing bags of gold into the window of needy families, which landed in their shoes/stockings that were left in front of the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on the day of his death, December 6, and children leave shoes or stockings outside of their bedroom door or on the hearth on December 6 (sometimes with carrots or hay for his white horse or donkey). The next morning, they will find a simple gift, and often a candy cane (which represents his crozier, or staff/shepherd’s crook). It’s a great story because it gives an opportunity to teach kids about giving to the needy, and to come up with a way to give back during the holiday season.
Even though I knew what I wanted to give him, I totally forgot to set it out until I saw someone post about it on Facebook at like 12:30 a.m., so I scrambled to grab everything and put it together for the next morning.
I’ve decided it’s the perfect time to give him Christmas jammies or a shirt each year so that he can get plenty of wear from them during the holiday season, plus a Christmas book. This year I also gave him his Christmas ornament – a reindeer to represent all of the deer we see at our new house, and I threw in a sucker because that’s his favorite candy – it’s supposed to be a candy cane as mentioned above, but I didn’t have any and he wouldn’t probably eat it anyway.
He still wasn’t sure to make of the gift – or what it means – but he was pretty happy with everything anyway and was reading the book right away (we hid the sucker before he noticed since it was 6:30 a.m.)