Tuesday, December 06, 2011

St Nicholas Day

Today was a day of great excitement in our house. It began with a candle lit breakfast of porridge and croissants. In the centre of the table stands our St Nicholas figure. We walk to school with bags stuffed with packages carefully wrapped in bright tissue paper. These were prepared last night and contain homemade baking. (We made St Nicholas Coin Purse cookies using this recipe. As Hersheys Kisses are not available here we used Cadburys Twirl Bites instead). The gifts are left on our neighbours doorsteps and secreted into friends school bags.

I am amazed at how much my children enjoy the thrill of preparing and secretly delivering packages for friends and neighbours. They plan the whole operation so as not to be seen , although I am sure that the giggles and retreating feet are heard!

St Nicholas is the historical person - a 4th century bishop know for his generosity and compassion - who is the inspiration for Father Christmas. The latter has become associated with commercialism and consumerism , the former with the joy of giving. We like St Nicholas better! There are  lots of legends and stories associated with this saint, all of them demonstrate his spirit of mercy , his faith and his generous compassion. They make great family reading during Advent.

Secret parcels ready for delivery.

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