My husband and his family celebrated St Nicholas Day growing up.In fact, my mother-in-law reminded me every year when we were first married when St Nicholas Day was. I never remembered since I didn’t grow up with it. Now that I have 2 kids, I like incorporating good traditions into our family, especially since Daddy grew up with it too. Since my son, who is in kindergarten is suppose to bring in an extra pair of shoes tomorrow for a surprise from St. Nicholas, I thought I BETTER keep the tradition alive at home too!
When is St Nicholas Day?
St. Nicholas Day is Dec 6 of every year. This includes 2011, 2012, and 2013 of course!
What is St Nicholas Day?
It’s another day to celebrate in December! Traditionally, kids left their shoes outside their bedroom doors on St. Nicholas Day Eve, mostly in Europe. St Nicholas Day is celebrated in the USA in cities with strong German influences such as Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Louisville, and St. Louis celebration.
When kids wake up in the morning, they receive candy, cookies, apples, and nuts. Today, kids might find small toys, trinkets, books, or even new winter PJs. As a child, my husband received tangerines, trinkets, candy and nuts, not in his shoes but in a Christmas stocking. The Christmas stocking was on the mantel.
Who is St Nicholas Day and why is he bringing my kids candy?
St Nicholas was Bishop of Myra and remains the Patron Saint of sailors, fishermen, the falsely accused, pawnbrokers, thieves and a number of cities. To kids, he is the magical person that leaves presents for them either on St Nicholas Day or Christmas. St Nicholas lived 270–6 December 346. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving and miracles. St Nicholas is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and Sinterklaas.
He is well-known for his good deeds. He would throw bags of gold coins through windows at night for daughters whom fathers could not afford a dowry. Back then, without a dowry, these girls would not be able to marry and may be forced into prostitution. St Nicholas is also known as a Defender of Orthodoxy as Christians were under persecution of the church, he worked to defend many.
So, in honor of the good deeds and works of St Nicholas, he continues to leave candy, treats, and small gifts to kids world-wide on St. Nicholas Day.
Do you celebrate St. Nicholas Day?
So, this Sunday night is St Nicholas Day Eve. I don’t think I’ll carry the shoes tradition out but I will be surprising my kids with some fun surprises in their stockings. We have had way too much candy since Halloween. I think I’ll carry on some of my husband’s family traditions of nuts (my son loves peanuts with shells!), special fruit, and a trinket. Maybe PJs too.