Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the 2nd day of Christmas...

For as long as I can remember my family has celebrated St. Nick's Day.  St. Nick was a saint who was thought to have brought gifts and money to people in the night who needed his help.  He would leave these gifts in the shoes or boots that were left out at night. 

The tradition is not extremely wide-spread in the US like it is in European Countries but many German and Scandinavian families in the US will continue to celebrate St. Nick.  

Here is a snippet from Wikipedia, it's a brief sample of how it is celebrated.

Celebration in the United States (from Wikipedia)

While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities
with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis
celebrate St. Nick’s Day on a scale similar to the German custom.[5] On the previous night, children put one empty shoe (or sock) outside, and, on the following morning of December 6,
the children awake to find that St. Nick has filled their previously
empty footwear with candy and small presents (if the children have been
"good") or ostensibly, coal (if not). For these children, the
relationship between St. Nick and Santa Claus is not clearly defined,
although St. Nick is usually explained to be a helper of Santa. The
tradition of St. Nick’s Day is firmly established in the Milwaukee and
St. Louis communities, with parents often continuing to observe the day
with even their adult children.

Growing up, I assumed everyone celebrated St. Nick's Day.  I would wake up on December 6th to small goodies in my stocking.  I always looked forward to this precursor to Christmas and while the gifts were small, they were often more meaningful than the rest.  My mom put a lot of thought into the small gift and we were very thankful.  My husband's family got stockings filled with candy and while I'm sure it was fabulous, no way am I giving my kids a stocking filled with candy just a month after Halloween.  

So the tradition continues with my kiddos.  This year they are receiving a classic Christmas story from Little Golden Books, some comfy jammies and slippers.  I started this trend last year of jammies, slippers and a book.  They are things that aren't too frivolous, yet they really excite my children.  I have fond memories of them putting on their new jammies and slippers early in the morning and sitting by the fire reading their new stories.  Plus, it gives me a chance to tell the story of St. Nick and his incredibly giving nature.  It helps reiterate that while it's fun to get gifts, it's more important to be thoughtful and give as well.  If you don't follow this tradition, I highly recommend it.  It's never too late to start either! 


  1. LOVE this Michelle! I look forward to starting this new tradition with my family, and I'm sure Lyd's will not mind either.

  2. What a fun an glorious tradition:) We need pix of those PJ's!

  3. I love this idea! I have always wanted to get my kiddos holiday pajamas, but hated the thought of waiting until Christmas Day to do it - giving them on St. Nick's Day is perfect! And I love little traditions like this - things that don't have to rival the big traditions of Christmas but that have lots of meaning and their own little brand of special.


Leave me some love! What floats your boat?