Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saint Nicholas Day

A few things...

1) Having a child has made me deeply ponder things I never gave second thought to in the past (e.g. What does Santa really have to do with Christmas?? More--a lot more--on that in a separate post).

2) Having a child has also changed my perspective on many things (e.g. Santa Clause is lame. Christmas is about Christ. ...Are you picking up on a trend??).

3) And having a child has reminded me to try to see things through the eyes of children--I am struggling with this one right now (e.g. Santa is magical and fun! Presents are awesome! Ok, so maybe Augustine isn't thinking those things yet, but give him a year or two...).

To be honest, it has been a little overwhelming. As we approach Augustine's first Christmas, I am torn about what I want to expose him to and what role I want various family and cultural traditions to play in our celebration of Christmas.

But one day I knew I didn't want Augustine to miss out on during his first Advent was Saint Nicholas Day. Celebrated on December 6th, the Feast of Saint Nicholas is a great day to acknowledge Saint Nicholas' generosity and charity without getting caught up in his commercialized derivative, better known as Santa Clause.

Augustine dressed up as Saint Nick (not to be confused with Santa--wink, wink) to celebrate his feast day.

Luke and I decided to start a Saint Nicholas tradition in which we would buy Augustine (and, God-willing, his brothers and sisters some day) a pair of wintry pajamas and a Christmas book each year on December 6th. We don't plan on suggesting to our kids that the gifts magically appeared, as though delivered from a saint who has been dead since the year 346 (though I have no doubt it could happen that way if God willed it :)), but our little ones can look forward to waking up to a few small gifts from us in remembrance of a man who is, fittingly, the patron of children.

Anyway, we had a fun time with it for our first year. Luke and I went to Barnes and Noble together and picked out an age-appropriate Christmas book for Augustine. We figure as he gets older, the books will become longer, more in-depth, etc, and by the time he is a teenager we should have quite the collection of Christmas stories to bring out every year at the beginning of Advent! We will also have a whole lot of winter pajamas!!

Augustine may not understand the concept of celebrating a feast day yet, but he does enjoy reading his book with us, and he looks cute as can be in his new jammies. More importantly, we are creating Advent traditions that will stay with our family--and may even be passed on to our Grandchildren--for years to come! That is pretty fun.

Happy Saint Nick Day!


  1. :D Well, done! I like that tradition!

  2. what?? how did my comment not show up? I said that I loved the cute pictures, and that I might steal this tradition:)