St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day or St. Nikolaus Tag was a tradition we celebrated in my family that I always looked forward to.  St.  Nicholas was the patron Saint of children and was known for secretly putting coins in the shoes of people who left them out for him.  In the Netherlands he is called Sinterklaas, and this is where the model for Santa Claus came. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated by placing your shoe by the fireplace or in front of your door on the evening of the 5th of December (I always made sure to find the largest shoe I owned).  If you were a good little girl or boy throughout the entire year, the morning of the 6th you received toys and treats.  If you were naughty you received twigs and maybe a chastising letter.

In my family with my small children I love to continue this tradition.

Here's what St. Nicholas is giving my children this year:

Maja was a good girl this year and she will receive a new pair of Christmas pajamas,  a St. Nicholas and an angel playmobile figure, and a chocolate St. Nicholas.

Henrik was also a good boy this year and he will receive a new pair of Christmas pajamas,  a St. Nicholas and a snowman playmobile figure, and a chocolate St. Nicholas.

This year I'm sad that I will miss St. Nicholas Day with my children (I'm celebrating it in Germany!).  I've made sure that the babysitter understands how to celebrate the tradition, so that my children can enjoy it in my absence.  This is particularly comforting for me since it was so hard to leave them.  It's nice to know they have fun things to look forward to while I'm gone.

I can just picture the look of excitement on their faces the morning of the 6th (Henrik did a pretty good job role playing this for me in the picture above).

It's not too late to try this tradition in your family as well.  Do you have any special Christmas traditions you celebrate in your family?  If so I'd love to hear them.