Today, December 6, is St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas was a wealthy Christian who lived in Asia Minor during the third century. He was a generous man who gave to the poor. St. Nicholas is believed to be the origin of Santa Claus.
Last night Sophie & Fiona put out there shoes because St. Nicholas comes around the night of December 5th and fills children's shoes with surprises. John and my step-daughters introduced me to this tradition and I love it. This year I wanted to make it about giving as well as receiving so I did a little research about celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I found a wonderful idea here.
When the girls got home from school we baked up a batch of their favourite chocolate chip cookies. I had bought some small Christmas cookie tins and we loaded them up with cookies, a paper snowflake and the story of St. Nicholas that I found. We slipped out into the dark night and delivered them to several doorsteps on our street. The girls were so excited to leave a treat for our neighbours and they tiptoed very quietly around the neighbourhood. Super cute.
At the end of the story there is a little note explaining what we are doing and encouraging people to pay it forward by delivering surprises to someone else. When you receive the gifts you put the paper snowflake in your window so others will know. The idea is that everyone on the street will have received gifts by Christmas. I just loved the idea and so did the girls, a new family tradition for us.