Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Celebrating St. Nicholas Day

One of the best things about having a child is deciding which traditions you want to start or keep and ditching the ones that are no longer your thing. St. Nicholas Day is one of the traditions we decided to keep with E.

I grew up celebrating St. Nicholas Day, which is not a surprise since it stems from German traditions and was particularly popular in the Milwaukee, WI area. My Dad was German and the town were I grew up was about 45min South of Milwaukee. (Thanks Dad for this wonderfully fun tradition.) 

St. Nicholas Day is December 6, and historically children place their shoes or stockings out the evening before so that St. Nick can come overnight and leave gifts in the shoes. In the midwestern tradition, good children receive small toys or candy while bad children receive coal. St. Nicholas is seen as separate from Santa, but in communication with him.

We have celebrated St. Nicholas the past couple of years, but this year I had time to really think about how to balance the fun of the tradition and trying to not make myself crazy. We took some of the old with some new and I think we have found a good balance. The plan is to give E Christmas jammies, a movie or book and have St. Nicholas drop off the Santa key.

Tiny shoes. Tiny person.

Bad mom moment. This is the only photo I have from last year.
This year was a lot of fun because E is really starting to get it and understand Christmas. She was super excited to put her shoes out and even more excited when she found a new movie waiting (along with a couple of other things) for her the next morning.
She was so excited
In addition to creating lasting memories, I am hoping that creating our own family traditions will keep E from wanting the (marketing created) current trendy Christmas tradition (AKA Elf on the Shelf.)  Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

What are some of the unique holiday traditions your family does?