Winter Lights ~ Saint Nicholas Day

The air was charged with anticipation in my nest last night. Way after lights out, my eldest chick padded out to the living room, simply too excited to sleep. "We forgot to leave carrots for St. Nicholas' donkey!" she said. So we slipped some carrots into the wooden clogs waiting by the front door. I tucked her in to bed and sat thinking, as I rubbed her back, what it was like to be a child at Christmas time. I smiled to myself, feeling blessed to be a parent now, given the opportunity to rediscover the magic of the season by sharing it with my children; by giving rather than receiving.
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.

1 comment:

Rose said...

Our festivals look remarkably similar this year except that St. Nick forgot our candy canes. Oops.