St. Nick

The big man himself arrived on Friday eve…evidence by the 5:15 in the AM wake-up call we got. Scott went in to survey the damage and the kids had already dressed themselves in their new pajamas and were clamoring to see where “Sparkly” was (that would be our “Elf on the Shelf”). Holy smokes whose idea was it to do all that on a Friday evening??? Don’t reasonable people know you SLEEP IN on a Saturday morning? Not our children.

They now want to wear said pajamas to bed everynight. I did get them washed today, but that may be the last time before Christmas arrives. We shall see.

I guess I should back up and explain why and how we celebrate this holiday. St. Nicholas – otherwise known as the REAL Santa Claus – was a Catholic Bishop back in the 3rd century. Born to wealthy parents and orphaned at a young age, he realized all the gifts he had been given were to be shared. And share he did, particularly with children. Thus, he’s known as the Patron Saint of children. It’s a long-standing tradition around the world for children to leave their shoes and a few carrots (for St. Nick’s trusty horse) outside their doors on the eve of his Feast Day. The next morning, they find a small gift and a candy cane, which represents his crosier (staff).

Ok, now you follow? My sleep-deprived self apologizes. So, the kids woke up to find Christmas pjs and a candy cane with no evidence of the carrots, of course. I love this tradition because it’s a small way to teach our children that the giving is the part of Christmas we celebrate. That if a real-live person can share so abundantly, we should be sharing much of what we have. I mean, take a look around folks, we all have houses full of “wants.” Many look around and don’t even have the “needs” fulfilled.

This feast day celebration is at the heart of why our children only get one Santa gift come Christmas morning…and why with every gift that comes into our house during the season, two go out to those more deserving.

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