My little chicks are enchanted by the story of St. Nicholas, which I introduced for the first time this year as part of our advent season. We've been reading about this patron saint of children in The Legend of St. Nicholas and on the St. Nicholas Center website.
Last night before bed, each girl left her cleanest Mary Jane on the hearth, with a carrot and some hay tucked in for St. Nicholas' horse. (Selby was very careful to line her shoe with hay before placing her carrot in it... "I do not want carrot toes tomorrow," she explained.) The girls were delighted this morning to discover their offerings had been replaced with: a little bag of nuts, chocolate truffles, a candy cane, two shiny new quarters, a small wooden ornament, and a fragrant pomander. It was a simple and sweet reminder of the blessings and joys of the season.
After school today, in the spirit of St. Nicholas, I'm taking the girls to select tags from a local Angel Tree, so they can each provide a gift to a child in need this Christmas. I love the simplicity of honoring St. Nicholas Day and the way it supports my efforts to refocus our holiday festivities this year (more on this coming soon). I believe it may be the beginning of a new family tradition that we can embrace for years to come.
*My gals also had fun decorating St. Nicholas coloring pages, found here.