St. Nicholas Day

This was our first year celebrating Saint Nicholas Day, and while I was a bit concerned about both Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus visiting our house this year, the children were not bothered by it. Of course who needs another excuse to eat chocolate at breakfast!  We compared the two winterly figures and came to this conclusion:  Saint Nicholas is more of a saintly human who does good deeds and helps people in need, and Santa Claus is more of a jolly elf who brings toys to good children.

In the days leading up to today, we have been reading Christine Natale’s Saint Nicholas stories which can be found here on the website.  Last night before bed, I asked The Boy if he thought Saint Nicholas might visit us if we left some shoes by the door.  He was excited about the idea, so we left a pair of wooden clogs on our nature table which sits next to the front door to our home.

In the morning, they found each shoe filled with a fruit leather, chocolate coins, a tiny stuffed animal, a golden nut, and a tangerine.  The Boy also had a hunk of pyrite and a wooden knitting tower (with wool yarn), and The Girl had an amethyst crystal, and crystal beads (to make a necklace with later).  The Boy was so excited that he said, “I’m going to write Saint Nicholas a thank you letter!” And let me assure you that The Boy does not want to write anything ever.  The Girl shouted, “I LOVE Saint Nicholas!”

And as if by some kind of Christmas miracle, it was downright cold this morning.  It is so much easier for me to get into the holiday spirit when it’s not 80 degrees outside.  We stayed inside most of the day, baking cookies and learning about how Christmas is celebrated all over the world.

A little about our treats: the meaning of the golden nut and the tangerine are in Ms. Natale’s stories.  The golden nuts were made by rubbing a walnut with cooking oil, then with edible gold luster dust that I used to use back in my chocolate making days.  The stuffed animals are from Ikea.  The wooden clogs were picked up at the Goodwill for $4.  Since they were painted with hideous windmills and said “Holland” on them, I stripped and sanded them back to their original lovely condition.

5 Responses to “St. Nicholas Day”

  1. Kimmie writes:

    So cool, that you celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’ (that’s how it’s called, here in Holland).
    And the way you celebrated is very similar to the way we do it. Usually the children put a carrot in their shoe (as a gift for sinterklaas’ horse) and sing songs. You do have to be a good kid, to get a present… the shoe thing happens in the 2 weeks before 5 December, and on 5 december, Sinterklaas and his helpers would knock on the door and leave a bag of gifts… In addition, chocolate, ‘pepernoten’ and marsipan are traditional sweets, and the tangerine is also spot on! I think it’s a very cool festive time!

  2. MamaBird writes:

    A beautiful, simple celebration. I wish St. Nicholas had left some of those golden nuts at our house! And I love your wooden shoes. I have a pair that my grandfather brought back from Holland many, many years agao. I debated using them for our St. Nicholas celebration and decided, instead, on letting the girls use their own shoes. Your photo is so beautiful, maybe next year we’ll bring out the wooden clogs!

  3. Christine Natale writes:

    Hello Rose! I just found this blog entry by googling my own name! Please e-mail me at [email protected] and I will be happy to send you some Easter stories! I am also on Facebook.

    It means so much to me that your children made the connection with Saint Nicholas with the help of my stories!


  4. St. Nicholas Day | The Laughing Monkey writes:

    […] sweet and simple holiday–just how I like it.  Our celebration was very similar to last year’s. This year, St. Nicholas brought each child a golden nut, a tangerine, chocolate coins, a candy […]

  5. a visit from st. nick | The Laughing Monkey writes:

    […] can see 2010 here, and 2011 […]

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