JMJ *St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6, is a good time to reflect on the life of this great saint and talk about “random acts of kindness” or “secret gift-giving” which I believe are very closely related. What a great time of year to emulate St. Nicholas this way!
Every day for 16 days, you will find little things which are inexpensive, involve little to no preparation, for family and close friends to enjoy together. Although a few ideas might be added to your Christmas bucket list, these are mostly traditional ideas that have a timeless quality to them.
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Just who is St. Nicholas?
To summarize, according to Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas
Saint Nicholas, lived from March 15, 270 AD to December 6, 343 AD. He was the only son of wealthy Christian parents. His parents died when he was just a young boy. He was raised by his uncle, also named Nicholas, who raised him to be a generous and faithful Christian. He eventually became the bishop of Myra and an historic Christian saint. He had a reputation of secret gift-giving which eventually led to the inspiration of the modern day Santa Claus. At one point, he was thrown into prison for his religious beliefs. There are many miracles attributed through the intercession of St. Nicholas.
There is a fantastic website with “all things St. Nicholas” which would definitely be worth exploring. At this website you can find his story, customs around the world that have to do with Santa Claus (St. Nicholas), related traditions, events celebrated around the world, and a special kid’s section with printable fun.
A suggested new tradition for you: (maybe some of you do this already)
St. Nicholas’ feast day is December 6, and many people around the world celebrate this feast day by leaving out their shoes the night before, to be filled with goodies, of course, only if they have been good! My friend, Veronique, does this every year with her children, and they love it. It is also a good time to reflect on the life of this great saint and talk about “random acts of kindness” or “secret gift-giving” which I believe are very closely related. What a great time of year to emulate St. Nicholas this way!
Here is a little more about the German custom, according to the St. Nicholas Center website:
“Houses are thoroughly cleaned and children clean and polish their shoes or boots in preparation for the saint’s visit. On the evening before St. Nicholas’ feast day, children put letters to the good saint along with carrots or other food for his white horse or donkey on a plate or in their shoes.” Basically, St. Nicholas has a list of children’s deeds and they will get goodies, coins, fruit, or small gifts in their shoes, if they have been “good”. Otherwise, it might be twigs or coal!
Sound familiar? I’d love to hear about your experiences with St. Nicholas traditions if you have any.
On the homefront… Ring the School Bell 63/180
In between studying with Sarah and her polynomials in math, and helping Melissa with some basic math, I put away the fall array to make room for Christmas holiday decorations. I also purged the house of unnecessaries, which makes John rather nervous when I do (so sorry about that John), and came up with another 4 bags for Goodwill!
John and I looked at insurance plan options this evening since our supposedly substandard insurance plan is being discontinued in the new year. In retrospect, in our case, our previous health insurance was much better then, than it is now. I hope it worked out better for some of you! So far all the offerings are more expensive and offer very little in terms of coverage. A good reason to work out and eat right, to avoid the doctor as much as possible!
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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is part of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs. Every day’s blog entry coincides with a day from that special year. It can be read from the beginning by selecting the “Ring the School Bell 180” category on the side bar. Commence with the narrative, “The School Bell- What comes to mind when ‘you’ hear that bell?”
Start here to get the story from the very beginning:
Follow along with us day-by-day through the school year. Hope you will join us!
May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine. Annette