Did you know the legend of Santa Claus actually comes from a real man? St. Nicholas (yes, Jolly Old St. Nick) was the Bishop of Myra (now part of Turkey) around 300 years after Jesus' Ascension into Heaven. He was known as a kind and generous follower of Jesus Christ and is the patron saint of many people and places, including children, sailors, bakers, and pawnbrokers (Yes, pawnbrokers.). Here is a kid-friendly explanation of who St. Nicholas was and what he did.
St. Nicholas' feast day is December 6th, and there are many fun and easy ways to celebrate.
Learn about St. NicholasThis short video gives a quick overview about St. Nicholas Day:
|St. Nicholas Center|
|Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas|
The Veggie Tales video St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving tells the true story of St. Nicholas (if he were a vegetable, anyway), and incorporates the modern-day St. Nick that brings Christmas presents. It's available on Netflix Streaming!
Ways to celebrate
- On the night of Dec. 5, have your kids leave out their shoes in a special place, like the fireplace. Place treats, like chocolate, coins (or chocolate coins), clementines, and candy canes, in the children's shoes from St. Nicholas.
|Treats from St. Nicholas|
St. Nicholas Center
- If you haven't already, hang your stockings up in preparation for Christmas.
- Print and color this St. Nicholas mini-poster from Loyola Press, and hang it up in your home.
- Print out a St. Nicholas prayer card, like this one from Happy Saints.
|St. Nicholas Prayer Card|
- Make a St. Nicholas giving box, and encourage your family to find items to give to charity.
|St. Nicholas figure|
St. Nicholas Center
- Create a stand-up St. Nicholas decoration, like this one from St. Nicholas Center. It can be part of a centerpiece on your table.
- Have a candlelit dinner or a special breakfast with St. Nicholas feast day foods, like the ones here.
- Decorate St. Nicholas cupcakes or cookies, like these from Shower of Roses.
|St. Nicholas cupcakes|
Shower of Roses
For more ideas on how to celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day, check out this page from Catholic Culture.
I hope your family has a wonderful St. Nicholas Day!