St. Nicholas

Pin it

Add to Symbaloo

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Pinterest

Celebrate At Home
Dutch Postcard
Dutch Postcard
St Nicholas Center Collection

A simple St. Nicholas Day celebration adds a bit of welcome festivity in the early days of Advent. It provides an opportunity to tell the story of St. Nicholas, a man of faith whose goodness and generosity grew out of his love for God. It enriches our understanding of Santa Claus by showing the real historical person who inspired the familiar legend and traditions.

So tell a story of St. Nicholas' generous example of giving in secret to those in need. Then encourage children to identify a kindly "Nicholas deed" to do for someone else. Have children fill their shoes with pieces of carrot or bits of hay for his white horse or donkey. Place shoes outside bedroom doors or on the hearth. See that a candy treat (a candy cane represents Bishop Nicholas' crozier) and simple gift appears by morning on December 6th.

Have a party. The Dutch give simple gifts accompanied with elaborate thyming texts that may be riddles or satirical poems commenting on the recipient's behavior and/or wrapped in fantastically deceiving ways, such as a pen inside a hollowed out carrot or something small nested inside multiple boxes and wrappings.

Ideas FROM Families
A Party: Introduce St. Nicholas to other families
Ideas for Saint Nicholas shoe treats
Coins for St. Nicholas Day: St. Nicholas Teaches about Money
Christmas in July! A St. Nicholas Activity Afternoon
Musings on Saint Nicholas or How to Play Saint Nicholas
St. Nicholas Name Day

Background & Customs
Letters and Treats for St. Nicholas Day, a German custom for families from Living on Both Ends
The Feast of St. Nicholas, helpful background for families from The Gift of Time
Will the Real Santa Please Stand? Inviting Saint Nicholas Into Our Christmas from Again Magazine
St. Nicholas' Day . . . in Austria & America from Around the Year with the Trapp Family
St. Nicholas, the Children's Friend: a Belgian tradition for December 6 by Ade Bethune
The Stocking that St. Nicholas Gave Me a warm account with a twist on a German custom
Celebrate St. Nick's Day, a reflection on one family's experience
Meet the REAL Saint Nicholas background to help parents teach children about the real St. Nicholas
Good-bye Santa! Hello, St. Nick! one family's experience from ALTERNATIVES

Decorations for Saint Nicholas Day from A Merry Christmas Herbal
A Wreath for St. Nicholas Day from Caprilands Herb Farm

Ideas for Celebrating
St. Nicholas: Ideas for Celebrating, story, activity, food & more from A Circle of Saints
The Custom of the Shoes, ideas for a visit from St. Nicholas from The Gift of Time
St. Nick's Day Stocking
, an idea from Abbey Press
Celebrate St. Nicholas at Home from St. Nicholas: The Wonder Worker
Celebrating St Nicholas, ideas from A Book of Feasts and Seasons
Celebrating Saint Nicholas Day: Invite Saint Nicholas into Your Home, Gifts from Saint Nicholas, A Wonderful Family Tradition from Advent, Christmas and Epiphany in the Domestic Church
A Man Named Nicholas from A Way of Life
A simple story for pre-schoolers
Restoring St. Nicholas Day—at Home from A Way of Life
Saint Nicholas Day: An Herbal Celebration in the True Spirit of Christmas from The Herb Quarterly
It Must Be the Shoes, a reflection on a family custom
St. Nicholas' First Gifts Given, a way to defuse holiday impatience
St. Nicholas Day Tradition for Teens Updated! from Between Us Parents

Advent Wreath Prayers, focused on saints from My Friend Magazine
St. Nicholas Day Blessing from Blessings for God's People
A service of blessing for use in home, classroom, or parish settings
St. Nicholas Day Blessing of Candy Canes
More Prayers

Talking with Children about Santa Claus Updated!

Resources for Celebrating St. Nicholas


Resources for Celebrating the Church Year in the Home Updated!

Do you believe in Santa Claus?
some thoughts on talking to children about Santa
The Truth About Santa, New York Times Room for Debate
suggestions for families from a variety of perspectives
3-Minute St. Nicholas Retreat from Loyola Press

back to top