Thursday, December 6, 2007

Feast of St. Nick

Today is the Feast Day of St. Nicholas. In many parts of Europe, this feast day is celebrated with gifts. When I was a child, we always left our shoes out the night of the 6th and St. Nicholas would leave a small gift, some candy & fruit & nuts in our shoes. We were always super popular at school the next day because we were usually the only children in our school to celebrate the holiday. Click here for more information about St. Nick.

When I was in High School, I taught Catholic Sunday School. (Stop laughing, I was once very Catholic!) I taught Kindergarten one year and in early December I told the children about this feast day. The next week, a little boy pulled me aside, eyes wide, and told me that St. Nicholas had visited his house this year! He must have gone home & told his parents about my family's tradition & they kindly instituted it in their home. That one moment was worth a whole year of teaching a room full of 5 year olds.

When I was I was in college, I lived about an hour away from my parents', but my mom had a weekly business meeting near my school and she would stop by & see me. One of these visits occured on December 6th. I was in my room getting my jacket, when my roommate walked in on my mom filling my shoes with candy, fruit and gifts. And you thought you had weird roommates!

Then, when I was I dating my husband, he happened to be away in Germany on December 6th. I was missing him badly and my sister & I were trimming our little tree in our apartment. When I went to get an ornament out of the box, I found a little package with an ornament in it from St. Nick. Bruce had arranged with my sister to surprise me with a gift from St. Nick.

That's what the season is really all about. Doing little things that mean the world to those who love you, not just on Christmas Day, but throughout the year. Whether or not you celebrate the Feast of St. Nick, I hope you will hold those dear to you very close this year. I know I will be keeping the tradition alive with my daughter. I hope her roommate doesn't freak out when I get caught putting candy in her shoes!