05 December 2009

st. nicholas day tradition


growing up in a practically-German home, my family celebrated a yearful of European traditions. my mom set out her shoe along with my dad's in the year of their matrimony, 1969. the year after, she added the baby shoe of my oldest sister's to theirs. once i came along, there were nine shoes all lined up (biggest to smallest) in the entry hall, awaiting candy and prizes from st. nick.

i love this tradition and will be setting out a trio of shoes tonight.

truthfully, the shoe itself will be reason enough for benji's eyes to light up. taking his shoes off is one of his many skills (usually right after i've gotten them on his cute little feet - never have i needed a shoehorn so badly until i had a one year old). oh to be enthusiastic over such simple things. namely the triumph of pulling off a shoe and then slowly tugging each sock off, one by one, with gusto. the big benji victory grin that comes afterward is priceless. he knows exactly how to charm his mama to put them back on again.

read more about st. nicholas.


14 comments:

RW said...

My children used to bring gingerbread cookies to share with their friends at school on st. nicholas day - now we just treat a few of our neighbours....

Monika said...

Thrilled about being the winner of the journal! Also, my Mom is German, and our kids call her Oma, too. We always did Nikolaus growing up and plan to do the same with our kiddos this year (and will document in my December Daily, too!).

Lena said...

Oh us too! (Polish though). I am so excited for St. Nicolas tonight and Z is only 9-months-old. :) she'll love how excited we are though. Happy St. Nick!

Courtney B said...

what a great family tradition! we celebrated this in my preschool (yes, preschool) and it's one of the things that I remember VIVIDLY. I loved it! :) Thanks for sharing.

KJ said...

oh the story of St. Nicholas is one of my favorites. Surely a reason to believe, right?

Katie H said...

That is a sweet tradition! Being a newlywed, I am looking for traditions to add to our family. I'll just have to see if I have any German ancestry to warrant adopting this one...or maybe just take it anyway!

Allison said...

I love the Feast of St. Nicholas. He always came knocking on our door after dinner on the 6th, leaving a sack full of German chocolates, clementines, pistachios, small gifts, and a stick or two for me and my brother. I'm 37 yrs old and have never missed a St. Nick Day. My husband and daughter celebrate with me, too. Oh, and my mom is called Omi (she had an Oma and wanted to change it up!). Sorry to be so long.

Kristi said...

what a wonderful and fun tradition!

Eeny said...

I love St. Nics tradition since I was little. My sister and I set out our shoes in the hallway and waited excitetly... my dad aways rang a little bell pretending to be St. Nic (we didn't know back than =) We always found some candy, nuts, oranges, a chocolate St. Nic, and little presents in our shoes. Sometimes we were over at my cousins' place and there St. Nic even showed up in person and read out loud from his big golden book what we did during the year - good and bad. And than he handed us bags filled with goodies.

Even today with me and my sister being grown up, we still keep that tradition and I found my shoes filled with chocolate and nuts and a pair of fuzzy socks infront of my door this morning.

Konstantina said...

We're doing our own celebrations for the feast of St. Nicholas over here in Greece too. He is an amazing saint!

leni said...

my father was born and raised in Greece, and he has such wonderful memories of this day. i'm so glad he continued it with us when we were children.

Amanda said...

I never knew about this, but I'm a collector of traditions after growing up in a home without very many and I love this one! And that story about Benji is adorable :)

::Sylvia:: said...

St. Nicholas Day is one of our favorite holidays. Coming from a Greek (and slightly German) background, he is one of our most beloved Church heroes.

Here's a peek at the boy's shoes:
http://www.chasingcheerios.com/2009/12/celebrating-st-nicholas-day.html

elizabeth said...

I also was raised with German traditions. I do this now in my family and added to it. This is the night that the Elves (elf on a shelf, I do one for each child) show up to our home until Christmas Eve. Every night the elves go back to Santa to report on children's behavior. They move to a new place every morning they return. The kids love waking up and finding where they are. They receive candy in their shoes and a wrapped present which is their holiday pajamas! This way they wear them the entire month.

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