Advent is here and for many Christians it also means that St. Nicholas Day is fast approaching and we better get our gold coins ready.
Now, I am not a big fan of the whole Elf on the Shelf tradition and was so bad at it my son killed Chippy but I do, however honor St. Nicholas and do that one pretty well. Except that one year that we remembered at 8:00 PM the night of and I was at Malley’s with many other good Clevelanders hoping they had one more bag of chocolate gold coins.
We don’t tell the kids that St. Nicholas will be putting treats in their shoes but instead let them find the goodies in their shoes while they are getting ready that morning. When they find their shoes filled with goodies is when I remind them of St. Nicholas and all of the wonderful things that he did when he was alive. My eight year old forgets every year unless they go over it in his PSR class but remembers when he finds the treats. I can’t wait for my three year old’s reaction this year.
Since Santa also comes to our house, I really don’t go into the whole Santa is St. Nicholas and focus more on his good deeds before he was a priest as well as the miracles he performed as a Bishop. Stressing that he was a Bishop and had helped so many with his actions is what I hope will remain with the kids.
Traditionally we put gold coins and oranges in their shoes but this year I’ve added a few new ones thanks to a website I found and of course pinterest.
Ideas for St. Nicholas Day
Oranges vs Chocolate
Chocolate gold coins are a given to symbolize how St. Nicholas gave his riches to the poor. The best gold coins in our area are from Malley’s but if you don’t want to give chocolate or can't find them then oranges are perfect for symbolizing gold without the extra sugar. I say - do both!
Candy Canes to remind us of the staff that Bishops carry.
Since St. Nicholas was a Bishop and wore those wonderful red robes that are now associated with Father Christmas this is a wonderful and easy way to honor him.
We give the kids ornaments every year on Christmas but I think I may start giving them their ornaments in their shoes.
Let them enjoy them just a little longer.
Make Santa into St. Nicholas.
It’s like preparing the kids subliminally for the time when they find out that Santa is St. Nicholas.
Nuts (and apples) is a Czech tradition.
My father's parents are from Czechoslovakia so this is just a nice way to bring the past into the present. Besides, the kids love apples as much as oranges.
Gifts for St. Nicholas Day must be able to fit in a shoe, one shoe, so a note expressing something from the heart is really is a perfect gift.