When the children were deep in sleep, St. Nicholas came and left sweets and treats in their clogs, to be discovered in the early, crisp morning air: golden chocolate coins as a reminder to give freely ~ a round, shiny orange as a reminder to be sweet and share love with everyone ~ a golden nut ornament as a reminder to always be kind. A pretty candy cane beckoned, shaped like St. Nicholas' tall staff, which was rounded at the top like a shepherd's crook. And each girl received a small Playmobil toy set - one St. Nicholas and one Santa, each with an accompanying angel.
Finally, propped behind the shoes was a story book to be shared, The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale. The book went to school with my girls, who had tummies full of orange sweet rolls (we tested some I made for my food swap this weekend - recipe coming soon) and hearts full of cheer. After they return home this afternoon, we'll go select a child to sponsor from a local Angel Tree. This is part of our St. Nicholas Day tradition, an opportunity to experience the joy of giving, anonymously, to someone in need.
* Follow the links above (St. Nicholas, clogs, coins, orange & golden nut) to read the enchanting stories by Christine Natale, which share the meaning behind these symbolic gifts, and tell the legend of St. Nicholas.
Our festivals look remarkably similar this year except that St. Nick forgot our candy canes. Oops.
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