Monday, December 6, 2010

St. Nicholas Day and the Virtue of Hope

Did you put your shoes out last night?

The Zoomlians did. Hope springs eternal. Abundant hope, in this case.

The idea is that you put out your shoes on St. Nicholas Eve and you find them filled with candy in the morning. A visit from St. Nicholas, indeed!

In some cultures the kids leave hay in their shoes for the good bishop's horse. I'm sweeping up enough hay from our manger as it is, so we skip that part...

We don't "do " Santa, but we love St. Nicholas, as we explained here.

Why would a fourth century bishop want to stuff shoes full of candy? When he was on Earth, he did a lot of "Secret Santa" stuff like that, especially for children. You can find that story and many more (as well as fun activities) here!

And, in honor of the day, here is a little gift for you. Hold out your shoe:


Tracy said...

We leave carrots for St. Nick's donkey. Much neater than hay, they can sit on the plate right next to his cookies!

Wendy said...

I am SO going to try that next year.

And maybe carrots for the manger, too!

The birds are driving me CRAzy picking bits of hay out of the manger. It's hard to encourage the kids to do something for Jesus and put in a bit of hay when the manger always seems mostly empty... Adding the hay back doesn't seem the same since I am always guessing.

Annabelle said...

We do the same (I always say it comes from the German traditions in our family). Your kids are more hopeful than mine...I count 14 pairs of shoes and 7 singles!! :) We just modestly put one pair out per person..and I won't give them any ideas! Crack me up that the birds take the straw!