So it is the first week of Advent and like many other families we are finding ourselves becoming quickly overwhelmed. It seems like the month of December, though not the shortest month of the year, flies by the fastest due to the numerous events, festivities, gatherings, etc. I am finding myself checking off Christmas traditions, such as decorating the tree, the house, getting out our Elf on the shelf and moving it to a new location every morning, seeing Santa, seeing lights, etc. like items on a “to do” list, as opposed to quality family time together making memories to be treasured.
So, in an effort to slow down and truly get back to the real meaning of Christmas I am simplifying by minimizing the commercial or more secular festivities and focusing more on tradition Christmas. This means we will be focusing our attention on the Feast of St. Nicholas and the birth of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I am not forbidding anything, but rather trying to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas more. So, this past week in an effort to refocus our attention this Christmas season we have been preparing for the Feast of St. Nicholas.
Here are a few of the fun activities we are doing in preparations for the Feast of St. Nicholas.
Watching Veggie Tales Saint Nicholas A Story of Joyful Giving which is currently on Netflix.
St. Nicholas Center has a great story about the Real Santa that I read to the kiddos while they worked on the numerous kid friendly activities I found on St. Nicholas’ Center for Kids, including their St. Nicholas Puzzles….
While our toddler and preschooler worked on their puzzles our first grader worked on a crossword puzzle and then started making a St. Nicholas ornament out of beads from her craft bin.
Then all three kiddos helped put together a fun St. Nicholas memory game. The older two helped cut out the memory squares and all three helped glue them onto cardstock.
Another activity our preschooler really enjoyed was The Ship Game, where he had to circle all the items in the picture that began with the letter “s”.
I have printed out St. Nicholas’ for the children to color and cut out.
Our St. Nicholas Tradition…
When I was a child my brother, sister, and I would sit our shoes outside our bedroom doors the Eve of St. Nicholas Day and in the morning we would rush over to the shoes to see what St. Nicholas had left us. We would often find an orange, apple, candy, and other small trinkets of interests for children (cool pencils, stickers, etc.).
Now that I am a mother I am finding so much joy in continuing these traditions with my own children. I have everything ready for St. Nicholas Eve, apples, oranges, chocolate coins, and cute St. Nicholas pillow ornaments that the children can color and then hang on the tree.
I am so enjoying sharing the story of Saint Nicholas and all these fun activities with my children and am looking forward to St. Nicholas Eve!
Here are some additional interesting links I came across:
Checkout this new tradition, instead of a shoe why not a shoe bag for St. Nicholas day that you can have embroidered?
Does your family celebrate St. Nicholas day? If so how do you celebrate?