Alternative Holiday Celebrations - St. Nicholas and December 2nd - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Although we self-identify as Christians we fall very much along the liberal side of things.  I'd like to broaden our holiday celebrations by incorporating other practices into our observance of Advent.  This year it will include our standards like St. Nicks Day and the traditional Advent and Christian Christmas Eve/Day.  This year we're adding in a Winter Solstice Bonfire (with probably a Norse spin on things) and maybe a few others like St. Lucia or the Children's Day on 12/22 that was mentioned in a Dorothy Morrison book I checked out form the library.

 

In the same Morrison book she references December 2nd as the day that St. Nicholas sneaks into homes to find out which children have been honest.  I can't seem to find any other references to this and struggle with how to incorporate this specifically.  As usual, I'm a little bit behind with all of the illnesses we've had around here and I may just focus on tomorrow as a day for holiday crafts or handwork.  Anyone incorporate anything like what Morrison talks about for December 2nd?

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#2 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I don't know about the 2nd, but we celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day December 6th.  On the 5th, before the kids go to bed, they set a shoe outside their bedroom door, and St. Nicholas comes and puts chocolate coins and oranges in them.

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#3 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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I have never heard of the December 2nd thing.  The "sneaking in to see who is honest" thing sounds entirely too much like the Santa thing (which we don't do).

St. Nicholas was never about that.  If you read his story, he was about helping children and those in need.  The gifts in shoes comes from the merchant's daughters needing money for dowry- not based on their honesty.

 

IMHO- I would completely ignore that "practice".


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#4 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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that's weird.  We celebrate the feast of St Nicholas on Dec. 6.  Its a liturgical church feast.  There is no alternate date.  (well if you are old calender I guess it would be Dec 18th...its 12 days difference right? maybe...whatever the difference is....certainly not the second).  Last year the girls were with their dad and this year is a school night....So we are still building this tradition. LOL  But it always involves stockings stuffed with goodies, special treats and decorating the tree (the tree goes up at the beginning of the nativity fast, the decorations go on at St Nicholas day and the star goes up on Christmas eve.  The tree comes down after the 12th day of Christmas.  The reason we do this is so we don't feel so bad about fasting but also don't get sick of looking at the tree six weeks into it. LOL  no great spiritual reasons there.)

 

We also celebrate St Lucias feast day.  Last year we hosted coffee hour at church.  Don't know what we will do this year.  except for Lucia buns.  I already have the saffron...nom nom nom.

 

We fast for 8 weeks leading up to the feast of the Nativity.  Don't really do advent though.  It seems like there is another celebration in the middle of it.  Lily's name day (the feast of the Archangels ) is usually in the middle of the Nativity fast as well as my best friends name day.  and my dds birthday.  So we celebrate those as well.  It really is a whole season of celebration for us.

 

and as I mentioned, Christmas Eve starts the celebration and it continues for the next 12 days then we officially recognize the leave taking of the feast of the Nativity.  I really love the church does this, the official ending of the feasts.  


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#5 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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Actually the Old Calendar is 13 days behind the new. So, it would be Dec. 6/19

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

that's weird.  We celebrate the feast of St Nicholas on Dec. 6.  Its a liturgical church feast.  There is no alternate date.  (well if you are old calender I guess it would be Dec 18th...its 12 days difference right? maybe...whatever the difference is....certainly not the second). 


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#6 of 7 Old 12-01-2010, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

I have never heard of the December 2nd thing.  The "sneaking in to see who is honest" thing sounds entirely too much like the Santa thing (which we don't do).

St. Nicholas was never about that.  If you read his story, he was about helping children and those in need.  The gifts in shoes comes from the merchant's daughters needing money for dowry- not based on their honesty.

 

IMHO- I would completely ignore that "practice".



I've read his story...and hadn't ever heard of the Dec 2nd thing either...which is why I asked.  :0)

 

I think what we'll do is tell a simple St. Nicholas story I found on the St. Nicholas Center's website so that we can start looking forward to the day and then use it as a jumping off point to answer - "St. Nicholas showed his gratitude for God's gifts by giving to others, how can our family share with those in need?"  I figured I'd give the kids a few suggestions and let them pick the one that they think is most appropriate which  I think gets at the heart of both the St. Nick story and what the author was getting at - that it's not just about getting gifts.

 

In our family's St. Nick's day celebration we hang our stockings much earlier - probably tomorrow - which is a reminder of the day to come. We'll bake our St. Nicks' day cookies a couple of days before.  The kids get a few simple stocking stuffer type items  (books, toys, etc) and a chocolate bar on the morning of the 6th.

 

The author comes from a different faith perspective and would not orient it within the liturgical calendar or church feasts - I'm thinking that's where the difference comes from.

 

Thanks!

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#7 of 7 Old 12-02-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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When I was living in Switzerland (German speaking part if it matters), the family I lived with celebrated St. Nicholas Day. I think it was the 6th. Anyways, I remember getting a tangerine, some chocolates, and a small gift... all in my shoes. :) It was a nice surprise.


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