Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

When I was growing up, St. Nicholas Day was when my mother began decorating the house for Christmas. The tree would come about ten days later--my grandfather kept the German tradition that Santa Claus brought the tree on Christmas Eve, but my mother wasn't crazy enough to do that.

I've always thought there's kind a nice symmetry with having the Christmas season start with St. Nicholas Day and end with the Epiphany on Jan. 6. For the last couple of years I've tried to remember to have the kids leave their shoes either on the hearth or outside their bedroom door and stuff little trinkets in them, mostly as a reminder of their Germanic tradition. (The Advent Calendar is another one. And the tree, of course!)

This year I actually did well, except that I couldn't tell their shoes apart. I found seven shoes outside their door: two from DD#2 and five from DS#2. He didn't mean to leave his shoes out--it just sort of happened. But they were able to figure out whose trinkets were meant for whom anyway.

The Saint Nicholas Center has more information and some great pictures, old and new.

Fausta and The Anchoress have some special memories as well...