Friday, December 5, 2008

Un-Grinch it: Jolly Old St. Nicholas

One of the other traditions my family has observed over the years is that of putting out stockings for St. Nick. I'm not sure if we celebrate it because we're German, or because we're Catholic, but its fun so we keep doin' it.

According to wikipedia (a.k.a. The Online Knower of All Things), the legend of St. Nicholas goes like this:

"A poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public, (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house. ... People then began to suspect that he was behind a large number of other anonymous gifts to the poor, using the inheritance from his wealthy parents. After he died, people in the region continued to give to the poor anonymously, and such gifts were still often attributed to St. Nicholas."

As a child, we'd wake up on the morning of December 6th and look for our stockings. (I have no idea why they were hidden.) They would be filled to overflowing with candy, fruit and small toys.

One of my Aunts is the family's unofficial stocking maker. For my boys' first Christmases, they each got a stocking from Auntie Mary, much like this one:

We haven't dug ours out or hung them up yet,
or I'd just take a picture of our stockings. Eh...

Its a fun little holiday we like to celebrate the puts us a bit more in the mood for the season.

Now, off I go to actually get stuff to put in the stockings...teee heee heee...I always get giddy when it comes time to, um, "assist St. Nick". This "Un-Grinching" is working!!!

Image borrowed from The Angel's Nook. You can buy the kit to make the above stocking (and many other cute ones) on their site here.

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Jennifer said...

I love that stocking! I am all about snowmen. My house looks like a snowman ate other little snowmen and through them up all over my house.

Denise said...

How funny that this was your post today. I JUST finished looking up St. Nick . . on Wikipedia . . . to try to figure out once and for all which night St. Nick is supposed to come. I always have Dec. 5th in my head, but every year I wonder if you find the goodies ON Dec. 5th, or if he comes on the 5th and you wake up to find them on the 6th. Now I know : )

Karen MEG said...

Oh that stocking is AMAZING!!!!

Thanks for doing all these Christmas posts, Colleen, you're really getting me into the spirit!!!

Melissa said...

We do St Nick too. Only I grew up with him putting one thing in our shoe that was by the door the night before. And yah, I'm catholic!

Lorie said...

I love Jolly old St. Nick!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I think the St Nick celebration depends on location. The midwest Catholic bloggers seem to do it. Down here, after I announced to Puppy we'd be doing it, I was accosted and told it was something only done in Europe. I held my ground: 1 big present on St. Nick's Day, 3 on Christmas (why should my kid get more than Christ?), and 1 on Epiphany. The tree and all things Christmas last from St Nicholas Day until the 12th day of Christmas.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one doing something today.

OHmommy said...

I love jolly saint nick! I grew up with him.

Kim said...

How terrible is it that I have never heard of this tradition before?? very sweet..