December 12, 2010

The Arrival of St. Nick

We have a tradition in our house... Somewhere around the middle of November, the kids start a list on the whiteboard hanging on the wall of our schoolroom. That list names each birthday, holiday and special event from Thanksgiving through Epiphany. After each event, the kids write down the number of days remaining until the event takes place, doing the daily update as the number of days decreases.

In order, we have:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Elizabeth's Birthday
  • St. Nicholas Day
  • Marguerite's Birthday
  • William's Birthday
  • various Christmas parties
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Eve Party
  • New Year's Day
  • Twelfth Night (Epiphany) Celebration

Most low-key among those celebrations is St. Nicholas Day. And yet, it seems to be a favorite among the kids. There is just something special about a visit from Good St. Nick.

Continuing the tradition from my own childhood, our children place their shoes by the door on the evening of December 5th. Overnight, St. Nicholas visits the homes of good children and places some candy or coins (usually chocolate coins for us) in the children's shoes. If they've been very good, they may also receive a small wrapped gift—often, a new Christmas book.

And so, as you'll see below, St. Nicholas Day morning is a photo-op that combines excitement with some serious bed-head hair, as the kids tumble down the stairs to see if St. Nicholas really did pay a call.

Shhhh... The kids have not yet awoken to see the results of St. Nick's visit.
It's Marguerite's first St. Nicholas Day!
Excitement abounds. Look at what St. Nicholas left!

No comments: