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.