I love traditions, and a favorite family tradition of ours is one centered around Saint Nicholas!
Each year my husband’s family took part in a German tradition that celebrated St. Nicholas. All over the world people celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day on the 6th of December. Now my husband and I carry on this same tradition with our own children. Our family is Catholic so this is also a good time to learn about saints. The night before St. Nicholas’ Day we like to read the story about this favorite saint. Then the kids create their Christmas lists. The children put their letters to St. Nick in their shoes or boots. They leave them by the front door and hope that St. Nicholas will fill them with fruit, nuts, candy, and treats that night. In the morning, the kids are overjoyed to find their shoes stuffed with some delicious and fun treats.
Who was Saint Nicholas?St. Nicholas was a real person and a very generous one, too! His parents were rich and when they died, he inherited their wealth. Because he was a devout Christian he knew that God wanted him to help people in need. A famous story about St. Nicholas is one where he helped a poor man with three daughters. The family did not have enough money to pay a dowry for the daughters to get married. St. Nicholas dropped a bag of gold down their chimney to help them out. A sock was hung by their fire to dry. When the bag of gold was dropped, it fell into that “stocking.” (Hence, the tradition of stockings hung by the fireplace.) He continued to drop money down the chimney each night to help the family. The father waited up one night to see who was leaving the gold. He discovered it to be St. Nicholas, who quickly became known for his generosity!
Image Source: To Europe With Kids
If you are looking for a tradition to start with your family this one may be the one for you. It is a tradition of fun mixed in with a little history.