As we enter November, I am getting more and more excited for the holidays. I have been planning outings for my family and a couple of rejuvenating activities just for myself during the season. But one event in particular has my full attention right now: having a St. Nicholas Celebration for my children and their friends.
Every year as Miss H gets older, she becomes more and more focused on what Santa is going to bring her for Christmas. Mr. Rose and I do our best to keep the focus on Christmas as Jesus’ birthday, but even we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
On the afternoon of December 5, the day before St. Nicholas Day, Miss H and her friends will gather to learn a little bit about this amazing man. We will munch on traditional Speculaas cookies and apple cider while I read the book A Special Place for Santa, which seamlessly describes who St. Nicholas was and how he became the Santa Claus of today. They will learn about how St. Nicholas generously provided the dowries for three girls to be married by throwing three bags of gold through their window, which landed in their stockings set out by the fireplace to dry. (Sound familiar?)
During the party, the children will be asked to leave their shoes in our front entryway. When they go to leave, they will find their shoes filled with gold coins (representing the dowry money) and candy canes (representing the bishop's staff.)
To encourage the spirit of giving and reinforce the lesson of generosity, each child will be asked to bring a toy to donate to a local toy drive to help give another child a Merry Christmas. My hope through hosting this holiday event for the children is that I remind them of what this season is truly about, and that we all have fun while doing it!
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