Friday, December 2, 2011

10 Ways to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day!

Did you know that St. Nicholas day is almost here? It's December 6th which is less than a week away! St. Nicholas Day is a big deal around our house. I love the example he sets of selfless giving to those in need as we prepare for Christmas. If you don't usually participate in any St. Nicholas traditions, you might want to include him in your Advent season! If you're not familiar with who St. Nicholas was or any of the traditions surrounding him, you should take a look at: There is a whole slew of information about him and suggested ways to celebrate his feast day. I just wanted to share a few ways our family celebrates:

1) Read books together!
We have a couple of wonderful books about the life of St. Nicholas and the famous stories about him. I highly recommend this one:

St Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend

2)Discuss the history and symbols of St. Nicholas:

There are several rich traditions and symbols that originate with St. Nicholas (or at least his story had something to do with them!). It's wonderful to celebrate these symbols and discuss their meanings together. Just to name a few: leaving stockings by the fireplace (evolved from the gold coin story of St. Nick), placing an orange in stockings (represents bag of gold), giving chocolate gold coins (symbol of the bag of gold St. Nicholas gave to the 3 daughters), candy canes (symbol of St. Nicholas' crozier.).

image source

3) Make Candy Cane Treats!
Ads I just mentioned, candy canes are a symbol of St. Nicholas' crozier. They're a fun (and yummy!) way to spread a little cheer in the spirit of St. Nick. There are literally hundreds of things to do with candy canes from sugar cookies, to peppermint bark to simply popping one in a mug of hot cocoa. One of my new fave recipes using candy canes is this deliciousness:

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch

4. Leave out Your Shoes!
One of my personal favorite traditions is having the kids leave their shoes outside their bedroom door to see what treats await the next morning! It's such a fun way to spread a little Christmas cheer before the actual day rolls around We always put chocolate gold coins in their shoes as well as few other little goodies. The kids love it!

6. Make a St. Nicholas Bank

In the spirit of giving, which is at the heart of celebrating St. Nicholas, we put all of our spare change into our St. Nicholas bank throughout Advent. At the end of the season we make a donation to a charity in the amount we've collected. I'm so sad I don't have a picture of our St. Nicholas bank to show you--it seems to have gotten lost! :( Sadly I wasn't able to locate it in our Christmas bins this year. It was really cute and had several decoupaged images of St. Nicholas on it. We're just using a plain box for now but if I get a chance to make another one I promise to post it! (A decoupaged jar would be a fun, too!)

7. Give your Chocolate Coins some Flair!
As I mentioned before we like to give chocolate coins to the kids each year on St. Nicholas Day to symbolize the gold he gave the 3 daughters. This year I found the cutest St. Nicholas circular print-outs to affix to the coins on Pinterest, which I am definitely going to use! How cute! Get yours here.

Aren't they great?!
(image source)

8) Watch a Movie!

There are some great movies about St. Nicholas out there. One of my personal favorites for kids is:

Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas

9) Make some Crafts!
Crafts are always a wonderful way to celebrate any holiday! If you do some googling you will find several cute St. Nicholas crafts around. A couple of my favorites (found at Catholic Icing-a wonderful site for Christian craft ideas!) are:

Chocolate St. Nicholas

Paper St. Nicholas Miters:

10) Pray!
And last but certainly not least say a prayer to St. Nicholas as a family. Pray to become more like him--to live out his spirit of giving and generosity. Pray to remain focused on the true meaning of Christmas--of loving the Lord and serving one another.

image source

I hope this helped give you a few ideas on how to celebrate St. Nicholas Day this year!

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  1. I'm always so excited when I find someone else who celebrates St. Nikolaus day. I'm German and we've done this every year since before I was born. We put out our shoes and usually got chocolate and a book, which we'll do with our daughter (minus the chocolate). We'll be watching the veggie tales too. (confession: I always burst into tears when the sheep go jumping off the cliff across the moon at the end lol)

  2. Oh, how wonderful. Too bad that I just saw your post today. We are just about to have our St. Nicholas dinner. :-) Maybe next year then.

    I found you in the homeschool bloghop. :-)

    God bless you and best regards, Imelda

  3. Thank you for sharing these ideas! My German neighbor was talking about this today and I wasn't familiar with all the details. Now I am :) We might have to incorporate some of these things next year!

  4. One of my favorite Christmas memories was as a child in Germany..... Thank you for sharing some of the best traditions!



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