Many people either loosely associate St. Nick with Santa Claus, or haven’t heard about him at all. Catholics have the best of both worlds, because we celebrate Christmas, but have ANOTHER feast for St. Nicholas as well, a couple of weeks away – December 6. Just one more way to celebrate our faith and make it fun for our kids!
St. Nicholas Chocolates
Many thanks to the St. Nicholas Center for the idea of transforming Santa chocolates into St. Nicholas chocolates by adding a miter (from construction paper) and bishop’s staff (pipe cleaner)! This works for most brands of Santa chocolates… Head over to the St. Nicholas Center to access a wealth of other St. Nicholas activities, including St. Nicholas Bingo, games and coloring pages!
St. Nicholas Dinner
It’s too late for your children to meet St. Nicholas in person, but it’s never too late for them to feel like they know him! Make St. Nicholas come alive for your kids by inviting him to dinner… Ask a close friend or relative to learn as much as possible about the life of St. Nicholas and to dress up as him that night. Your kids can help you prepare a special meal, including table decorations. If you want to be really authentic, serve a pork roast cooked with fruit (apples, raisins, cranberries) and “St. Nicholas cookies” for dinner. Focus the dinner conversation on St. Nicholas, and let your kids ask “him” as many questions as they want to!
One of the most loved legends about St. Nicholas tells of the time when he anonymously left multiple bags of coins for a family until they had enough money for the three daughters to be married. Remind your children of St. Nicholas’ generosity by giving them a “money bag”, filled with chocolate coins. Try to find old fashioned bags that close with a drawstring. If you want to make them, use burlap or a similar plain but stiff material.
This might be the most famous tradition for the feast of St. Nicholas. Tell your children to leave a shoe outside their bedroom the eve of St. Nicholas’ feast. While they’re sleeping, fill their shoes with little treats for them to find and enjoy the next morning.
Anonymous Gift Giving
Teach your children how to imitate St. Nicholas’ generosity by giving gifts away anonymously on St. Nicholas’ feast day. Have your children make or buy a gift that they would enjoy receiving themselves. When St. Nicholas’ day arrives, take your kids and deliver the gifts anonymously if you personally know the child and/or family you will give them to, or give them to an organization that cares for people in need.
Don’t forget to also check out the Advent Writing Prompts if you haven’t seen them yet…
May God bless you all in your efforts to teach your kids their faith in fun and challenging ways!