Saturday, December 5, 2009

Do You Know Why December 5th is Special?

When I was growing up, not only was Christmas a big day to celebrate, but my family also celebrated a kinder and sweeter little known holiday today. Do you know why today, December 5th is a special day on the calendar?
It's where St. Nicholas is prominent, his day, not Christmas, is the primary gift giving day. Parties may be held on the eve, December 5th, and shoes or stockings left for St. Nicholas to fill during the night. Children will find treats of small gifts, fruit or nuts, and special Nicholas candies and cookies. St. Nicholas gifts are meant to be shared, not hoarded for oneself. In many places St. Nicholas is the main gift giver. His feast day, St. Nicholas Day, is December 6, which falls early in the Advent season. Some places he arrives in the middle of November and moves about the countryside, visiting schools and homes to find out if children have been good. Other places he comes in the night and finds carrots and hay for his horse or donkey along with children's wish lists. Small treats are left in shoes or stockings so the children will know he has come.

My sister and I used to place our shoes out on our front steps overnight hoping St. Nicholas would out a few pieces of candy in our shoes. The next morning we would wake up and always find a few pieces of chocolate inside.

So, tonight before you go to bed, place your shoes outside overnight and perhaps St. Nicholas will drop a few candies into your own shoes.

This is the season to celebrate so many different holidays. Are there any traditions you and your family celebrate around this time of year?
What would you love St. Nicholas to leave inside your shoes? Unfortunately I don't think a silver BMW can fit in my sneakers.


Chris said...

Heh, around here? It's more likely my neighbors would steal my shoes!

Anonymous said...

I have the same type of neighbors as Chris.

St. Nicholas wouldn't have to worry about fitting something like a BMW in my shoes. Cash would be just fine.

Carpoolqueen (formerly known as Beth) said...

I'd never heard of ST. Nicholas Day. I like the idea. I especially like the idea of the gifts to be shared not hoarded.

Shoes out side huh? Maybe we will.

K. Z. Snow said...

I'm pretty sure St. Nick could wedge an e-book reader into any of my footwear. Bet he overlooks me, though. :-(

My family always celebrated St. Nicholas night on the 6th and filled stockings instead of shoes. (I think the Dutch Sinterklaas fills shoes exclusively.)

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