Monday, November 21, 2016

About Santa....

Did you know that the modern Santa Clause has his origins in the life of a real man?  Did you know there really was a Saint Nicholas?  We don't "do" Santa in our home, but we do have fun with Saint Nicholas day...a fun tradition I celebrated as a child.  It's a great opportunity for studying a bit of church history, looking at how other countries celebrate Christmas, and talking about how we get some of our legends and stories.  Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th.

The little red book is "The True Story of Saint Nicholas" and is one of our favorites.  I love all of the Children's books by Voice of the Martyrs including "The Story of St. Nicholas."  This one gives more of the details of his involvement in the early church, which we like.

I love that we can keep this such a simple celebration if we want.  We generally just put a candy cane, chocolate coins, a clementine (or cutie, halo...whatever they're called this season) and usually some Kinder Chocolate in their shoes.  I love hearing my kids list off the things they know will be stuffed in their shoes, it's so simple, but they are still so very excited.  Sometimes we surprise them with some extras too.

In recent years we started doing a big meal with our favorite German and Polish foods.  This is a fun way to celebrate our family's roots as well as those Eastern European countries that claim connections to Saint Nicholas.

We've found that doing Saint Nicholas Day helps our children that had (in the past) struggled with informing other children that "there is no Santa" to understand that there really had been one long ago.  We've also seen other families be able to ease their children out of believing in Santa without the harsh reality that mom and dad had been lying to them.  This reality can be so hard on children, and also cause them to question many truths that their parents have told them.  I love the balance that Saint Nicholas gives in this area and we're able to look at what a blessing it is to be able to give to others during this season too.  This is a season for celebrating the BEST GIFT EVER....Jesus Christ and HIS saving grace!  He gave us so much and we can celebrate by giving to others.

If you are interested in more books about Saint Nicholas here are some recommendations....Saint Nicholas; The Real Story of a Christmas Legend and The Baker's Dozen; A Saint Nicholas Tale are a couple favorites around here.  I'm looking at Nicholas of Myra and The Saint who would be Santa Clause as possible additions for this year (we've not read them yet though).

***I'm an Amazon Affiliate.  If you shop through my links I'll get a itty-bit of extra cash that I'll likely use to buy another book for my kids.  The books I've linked to are ones we either already own, or would like to have.***

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