St. Nicholas Activities for Kids

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.


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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….

Click here for puzzles to print off for your children.

Click here for more puzzle options.

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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. 


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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.

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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”.

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I have printed out St. Nicholas’ for the children to color and cut out.

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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.

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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?

St. Nicholas Chocolate Coin Printable

St. Nicholas Day Spice Cookies

St. Nicholas Day Blessing of Candy Canes

Does your family celebrate St. Nicholas day? If so how do you celebrate?

Tuesday’s Tip: Be Aware of Your Influence

Take a moment to sit back and reflect on your life.  Ask yourself these questions;

Am I a happy person the majority of the time?

Am I a positive influence on others?

Who or what are the positive influences in my life? (Family, friends, media, music)

To be honest I never really even considered a correlation between the people, media, music, etc. in my life and who I am as a person. Or the impact that my media, music, etc. decision had on my children. Shoot, I thought it was cute when my child started singing Poker Face by Lady Gaga and music in that same genre. That is until I had the opportunity to attend a very inspiring presentation, and it was during that presentation that I had an authentic aha moment!

A couple of years ago at a MOPs meeting two DJs from YES FM gave an amazing presentation about the pest, weeds, and chemicals that can harm your psyche.  I am sure you are familiar with the expression, ‘you are what you eat’.  Well this presentation addressed the fact that you are what you listen to, watch, and whom you choose to keep company with, mind-blowing right!?!

As we entered the room there was three different items on a table.  There was a basket full of fruits and vegetables, a box of Twinkies, and a bottle of Roundup.  They began the presentation by explaining that the fruits and vegetables represent the healthy or nutritious media for the soul. 

The examples they listed as good, or positive influences were, Veggie Tales, PBS programs, Christian radio (Matte West/Amy Grant), and a few others. When it comes to relationships, the vegetables and fruit represent those that nourish you, the positive and encouraging individuals and relationships.  Then attention was directed to the box of Twinkies on the table.


The box of Twinkies represents the media information, music, and relationships that are not necessarily good or positive, but not exactly negative either, but neutral.  The examples given were Sponge Bob and family friendly music (The carpenters/Frank Sinatra) and shows.  With regard to individuals in your life the box of Twinkies represent the relationships you have with individuals who perhaps focus more on the superficial things in life, while not bad, it isn’t positive either. As they moved down the table and focused their attention on the spray bottle of Roundup they indicated that it, without a doubt, represents the negative or toxic influences in the media, music, and the like. 

The examples they gave were MTV, Lady Gaga, violent games, etc. The presentation really struck a nerve with me. I had never realized just how influential even the background music or television shows could be not only to a young child, but me as well.  In terms of relationships this is where those individuals who talk about other’s behind their backs, who feel the need to tear other’s down in order to build themselves up, who attack the person as opposed to the issue, who live by motives, games, and manipulation.  These are the toxic relationships.

After that presentation I made a conscious effort to only listen to positive, uplifting music in the car and at home.  The result was surprising, my mood, as well as the children’s, seemed to be more uplifting.  I illustrated more patience with the children and them with each other.

With regard to relationships I feel it is important that we take each person’s situation into consideration and understand that sometimes we have been placed in a relationship with a Twinkie or a Round-up/toxic individual in order to be the positive and encouraging influence. But this can be a slippery slope, be cautious how much time you spend because they can also be influencing you.

So, from time to time take a moment out of your day and reflect on the influences in your life and consider who you are influencing. And always remember that we all have the potential to be a nourishing component in someone’s life or a toxic one, be the veggie in a world filled with Twinkies!

Movie Night: Need your suggestions please!

Our good friends, you know the ones that are contagious, the ones that are so much fun, kind, considerate, and just make you feel all around better after hanging out with them? The ones were you find yourself counting down the days till your next visit? Yep, those friends were back in town visiting family and friends this past week/weekend and we tried to soak up as much time as allotted by their busy schedule.  We had a chance to meet up at Story time last week and we had a Moms’ Sleep Under Night (instead of a sleepover night…more to in a future blog) Friday evening that was a lot of fun but we wanted one last visit, if possible.  I guess that’s what you get when you are such great people, friends and family what to hang out with you all the time and they simply can’t get enough, lol!

Though, I understand and realize that running from one relative to the next, one friend’s to the next, and one activity to the next can become exhausting. So, since it was toward the end of their visit and the kiddos had been on a sporadic schedule, including sleep schedule, and their mommy had to have been getting towards her wit’s end (though she would never show it, she has such poise, no matter what the situation) I tried to think of a relaxing activity for both the kiddos and moms.  Then it came to me, Movie Night!!


So, in our travels that day we stopped at Target and the kiddos picked out some treats for movie night. They decided on popcorn, animal crackers, and apple juice, yum! Then we headed home and prepped the family room for Movie Night.  We moved the coffee table, brought down a quilt to lie on the floor for added comfort and easy clean-up, and added cozy pillows.


Then came the most difficult part of the evening, determining which movie to watch? We have a nice selection of girl movies (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Barbie, etc.), boy movies (Batman, Spiderman, etc.) , and then as my son states, baby movies (Winnie the Pooh, Elmo, Veggie Tales but I think that is for older kids too, though he begs to differ). Where we are lacking is in movies that are great for a general audience, boys, girls, and toddlers.  We have a few like The Chipmunks (which they unanimously voted on Chipmunks: Shipwrecked), Toy Story 3, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and A Bugs Life but we would like to expand our selection for Family Movie nights as well as Movie Night with friends. So please share…..

What are your kiddo’s favorite movies?  Likewise, what are some movies we should steer clear of? What kind of snacks do you serve during Movie Nights?