The Feast of Saint Nicholas & our family's tradition
The feast of Saint Nicholas is a beloved tradition celebrated by many around the world. This holiday, which falls on December 6th, honors the life and miracles of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, sailors, and merchants. One of the most cherished traditions our family has associated with the feast is the tradition of putting shoes under the Christmas tree.
What is the significance of putting shoes under the Christmas tree?
Putting shoes under the Christmas tree is a symbolic gesture that represents the generosity and kindness of Saint Nicholas. According to history, Saint Nicholas would secretly visit houses during the night and leave gifts for children in their shoes. This act of giving is a way to commemorate the saint's compassion and his dedication to helping those in need.
How does the tradition of putting shoes under the Christmas tree work?
On the eve of Saint Nicholas' feast day, children place their shoes near the Christmas tree, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the saint. In the morning, children wake up to find their shoes filled with small gifts, candies, and sometimes even a small amount of money.
Why is this a cherished tradition?
We cherish this tradition for several reasons. We began incorporating it when our oldest, Nikolas was just a toddler. It first began as a tradition to add an element of surprise and excitement to the holiday season while honoring the memory of a beloved saint whom our son was named after. We love the reminder of the importance of generosity and giving, encouraging each one of us to share our blessings with others. Through this tradition, we keep the spirit of Saint Nicholas alive, reminding us of his selflessness and inspiring us to follow in his footsteps.
How can you incorporate this tradition into your own celebrations?
If you're interested in incorporating the tradition of putting shoes under the Christmas tree into your own celebrations, here are a few simple steps to follow:
- Choose a designated spot near the Christmas tree where shoes can be placed.
- Encourage children to clean and polish their shoes before placing them.
- Explain the significance of the tradition and the story of Saint Nicholas.
- On the night of December 5th, have children place their shoes near the tree.
- In the morning, fill the shoes with small gifts, candies, or other surprises.
By embracing this tradition, you can create lasting memories and teach valuable lessons about kindness, gratitude, and the joy of giving.
The tradition of putting shoes under the Christmas tree serves as a beautiful reminder of Saint Nicholas' generosity and the importance of giving. By incorporating this tradition into your own celebrations, you can honor the saint's legacy and create a meaningful experience for your family.