Posted by: didyouseethis | December 6, 2008

A Toast To Saint Nicholas…And The 21st Amendment

Today is Repeal Day!!  A friend pointed it out to me as I was leaving work.  I’m a little late getting this posted…thanks to a lovely glass of my Lonz with dinner…ok…so it was two lovely glasses.   Cheers!
st-nicholas-ornament1Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day.  When I was little, we would leave a sock outside our bedroom doors and in the morning there would be suprises.  Little ones, new socks, candy, fruit.  I’ve done the same for The Daughter and The Boy.  Our tradition has pretty much been new socks and some kind of fruit they’ve never had and/or candy.

Below is a nice explanation of the tradition I found here,  with lots of links.

Children love surprises and love Christmas. One tradition that is fun to celebrate with young children is St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas was the forerunner of Santa Claus and, like Santa Claus, secretly delivers gifts to good children as they sleep at night. Instead of Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas delivers his gifts on the night of December 5th which is the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas or St. Nicholas Day which is December 6th. Also, instead of a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, he travels on a horse.

It was the Dutch who brought the celebration of St. Nicholas Day to America. During the early days of the settlement of North America, the Dutch founded the colony of New Amsterdam at the mouth of the Hudson River where New York City stands today. In fact New York City began as the Dutch city of New Amsterdam. The Dutch name for St. Nicholas was Sinterklaas which morphed into Santa Claus. While in some countries St. Nicholas brings presents on Christmas Eve, in other countries, including Holland, he brings presents on the eve of his feast day. It was the 1822 poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore, that established the time of St. Nicholas’ annual visit as being Christmas Eve in America. Moore is also responsible for changing St. Nicholas’ mode of transportation from a horse to a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer. It wasn’t too many years after the publication of A Visit from St. Nicholas that St. Nicholas evolved into the Santa Claus that we all know and love today.

However, St. Nicholas Day falls right within the Christmas season and, for people with young children, it can be celebrated as a part of the Christmas festivities for the children. A visit from St. Nicholas on his horse during the night a couple of weeks before Christmas can give the children a taste of the big visit from Santa Claus that will be coming soon as well as a little break from the stress and excitement of waiting for the big day. It will also add to the mystery and magic of the season for the children.

The celebration is simple and easy and is mainly for the children. You start by telling them the story of St. Nicholas and his kind acts – just click on the tag St Nicholas on this hub and you will be taken to other hubs of mine about St. Nicholas. I have also included links to other St. Nicholas sites on the Internet. On the evening of December 5th have the children place one of their shoes outside of their bedroom or hang their Christmas stocking on their bedroom door or other place. They can also leave a carrot or apple in the shoe for St. Nick’s horse (and maybe a cookie or two for St. Nick himself). After they are asleep, place a few pieces of candy, a simple little toy or trinket (something small like you get with a McDonald’s Happy Meal), a gift certificate to their favorite fast food establishment, or similar little gift. This is not a big gift giving event. Keep it simple with the idea of simply adding a little extra cheer to the holiday season or breaking the daily routine in anticipation of Christmas. You don’t want anything too elaborate because, more than likely December 6th will be a school day so you don’t want to delay them with elaborate gifts or celebrating. The fun is in keeping it simple, but still a small and festive break in the daily routine. Look upon this as being a little bigger than a visit from the tooth fairy, but not a major event or production.

As the author  says above…it’s not a major production.  It’s a tradition that I’ve carried on from my Mom that she carried on from hers…and back and back.  I think that’s the thing I like best about this time of year.  All the sweet little things that remind me of when my kids were little and my own childhood.  And the possibilities for making new traditions/rituals…which  The Daughter and I are working on right now…but that’s a story for another post…like the story of the Thanksgiving Tree…and now that I think about it..they are related.  But that’s for another day.

Love, Mom

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Responses

  1. If I ever knew this, it is long forgotten. I truly don’t think I’d ever heard of that little gift-giving thing on 5 Dec., and am only barely aware of St. Nicholas Day – certainly didn’t know when it was. Different strokes for different folks, yah? It’s a nice little tradition, though.


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