katherine started kindergarten. we sent her to a private catholic school for primary (k-3). we, being methodists, had only really ever celebrated st. patrick's day... as far as saints' days were concerned.
(in the above st. nicholas day card,
it was dutch tradition to fill clogs
with hay and carrots for st. nicholas' horses.)
katherine came home from kindergarten one day after thanksgiving informing me that december 6th would be st. nicholas day and that if she placed her shoes by the fire place (on the 5th) that the next morning the shoes would be filled with goodies.
i did a little research and found that st. nicholas was a man of great faith who lived his life in order to glorify Christ. saint nicholas loved children and cared for the needy. he brought the love and healing of Jesus to both. st. nicholas was the epitome of selfless giving always honoring God who sent his Son, the greatest gift of all.
i also found that by celebrating this early advent holiday it helped katherine to better understand santa claus by revealing the real person who inspired the familiar legend and traditions.
anyway, when katherine was younger we always placed an old pair of her slippers on the hearth on the night of december 5th, and the next morning new slippers were there in the place of the old ones filled with candy and a beanie baby (or two;). i found it to be a really sweet tradition...
love and God's blessings,