We don’t do a typical American Santa Claus Christmas.
We “did Santa” in the very early years with our daughters, but it never felt right to me. I remember how devastated I was and how I felt lied to when I discovered Santa was just imaginary and my parents did it all. No wonder I never got that pony!
My son has grown up with no deceit. My kids know not to spoil the magic for others who prefer to do things differently.
The kids love the idea of Santa so we review the legend and history of St. Nicholas each year.
St. Nicholas History
Traditionally, Nicholas was born in the city of Patara, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
In one of the earliest and most famous incidents from his life, he is said to have rescued three girls from forced prostitution by dropping a sack of gold coins through the window of their house each night for three nights so their father could pay a dowry for each of them. In his youth, he is said to have made pilgrimages to Egypt and the Palestine area. He became Bishop of Myra.
Legend claims that he was temporarily defrocked and imprisoned during the First Council of Nicaea for punching the heretic Arius. We love that story.
While living in Germany, we had lots of awesome options to celebrate St. Nicholas Day!
We look forward to Speculoos cookies, fun chocolate Santas in all shapes and sizes and colors, parades and markets galore! Many German heritage towns celebrate like this in America.
We put out shoes on December 5 and the kids wake up to chocolates and little gifts.
We put out stockings last year since we have a fireplace. This works for us.
Celebrating St. Nicholas Day:
- St. Nicholas Tot Pack, Preschool Pack, and Elementary Pack from The Kennedy Adventures
- All sorts of Christmas printables from iHomeschool
- Printable Craftivities at Making Learning Fun
- Saint Nicholas Crafts and Printables from Catholic Icing
- Lesson Plan and Activities from First School
- Activities and Worksheets from Education.com
- Poster from Loyola Press
- Sequencing from PreKinders
- Build Faith activities
- Welcome to Mommyhood Montessori
- Glue Sticks and Gumdrops activities
- Orthodox Motherhood celebration
- Boots and Hooves Activities
- A Slice of Smith Life
- Learn about St. Nicholas with fun games and printables at The St. Nicholas Center
- Great art tutorials in A Simple Start in Christmas Chalk Pastels
- Reading holiday books
- Watching holiday movies
- Donating or volunteering