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#1 of 20 Old 11-24-2009, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Who celebrates St Nicolas on the 6th December at home? I'm a Waldorf teacher and alumni so I'm used to celebrating it at school. I also used to get a visit from St Nick at home when I was a child. Now I'm a mum and I'm thinking about starting a St Nicolas tradition for my 2 1/2 year old ds. My thought was to tell him a very simple St Nicolas story, have him put his shoes outside his room and then fill them with nuts and an orange. I might even give him a chocolate coin as a very special treat.

How did you/ will you introduce St Nicolas at your house (if you are)?
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#2 of 20 Old 11-24-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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We did exactly that. I was a teacher and lived in a waldorfy household and as a child we had a hybrid story where we left carrots and some hay in our shoes for the reindeer to nibble on and would get oranges and nuts in return. I think my younger brother was very concerned that St.Nicholas would have nothing to feed his reindeer...?

Last year with my 3yo I did a simplified story, and had to include some hay "for his horses... " I tried to blend the gesture of that story with the whole santa thing so that the santa story had more meaning other than if you were good you will get presents.

He has played St Nicholas all year long with a bag of gifts and food. sweet.

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#3 of 20 Old 11-24-2009, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like the idea of leaving carrots for his horse (hay is harder to come by). Thanks for that.
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#4 of 20 Old 11-24-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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He was introduced to our house when he was introduced at school. Usually there's an orange and a small trinket left in the shoes. The first year we "forgot" to put out the shoes and luckily St. Nicholas knew so he checked again that night and they were out.

ETA: I would love to tell a short story as we put the shoes out this year since Dd will be old enough to wonder why we're doing it but likely young enough not to remember the story from school last year. Any favorite links?
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#5 of 20 Old 11-24-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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We do a story, and put out some carrots for his horses. We also do a St. Nicholas circle the week before. Gosh, that's next week, isn't it?!? We used to go all out-- it was almost like a pre-Christmas!-- but now we have 4 kids, and we've downsized. It's actually nicer this way. They put out their shoes and we put chocolate coins, a new toothbrush (I'll confess, it's often a character-type one we wouldn't buy otherwise ) and a small toy/gift.

There's also a St. Nicholas song by Woody Wolfe, who's probably a local phenomenon, but they like that.

It's my Nicholas's name day, and he gets to choose what we have for dinner. We also make a cake for name days.

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#6 of 20 Old 11-25-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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We leave the girls shoes inside our front door filled with hay and carrots then thy receive a small gift, a 'golden' walnut, a clementine (sp), and a honey stick. We read about St. Nicholas that day and this year we found a local church that is celebrating St. Nicholas day with a choir singing so we are going to check that out.
Very simple but it's my oldest favorite day of the year <3

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#7 of 20 Old 11-25-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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It's my Nicholas's name day, and he gets to choose what we have for dinner. We also make a cake for name days.
i get how it is the name day for a boy named Nicholas...but how do you know what are name days for people with other names? is this something you all made up in your family, a waldorf tradition, or another tradition?

sounds intersting

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#8 of 20 Old 11-25-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by reducereuserecycle View Post
i get how it is the name day for a boy named Nicholas...but how do you know what are name days for people with other names? is this something you all made up in your family, a waldorf tradition, or another tradition?

sounds intersting
For us, it's a Catholic tradition. All of our children have patron saints, and all patron saints have feast days. When it's their feast day, they get to choose a meal menu and they get a cake. The only time it gets kind of dicey is Michaelmas, which is both Michael's name day and Nicholas's birthday.

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#9 of 20 Old 11-25-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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Can someone point in me in the direction of some books, or material online that I could read so we can start this tradition in our home? I want to celebrate but my honey will ask me "why are we putting out shoes?" and I have no idea what to say.
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#10 of 20 Old 11-25-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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This is the best resource, hands down-- and it's free!
http://www.stnicholascenter.org

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#11 of 20 Old 11-26-2009, 01:38 AM
 
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Thank you annettemarie!
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#12 of 20 Old 11-27-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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For us, it's a Catholic tradition. All of our children have patron saints, and all patron saints have feast days. When it's their feast day, they get to choose a meal menu and they get a cake. The only time it gets kind of dicey is Michaelmas, which is both Michael's name day and Nicholas's birthday.
awesome!

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#13 of 20 Old 11-27-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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oops! double post

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#14 of 20 Old 11-30-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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Ooh - good thread - we are planning to celebrate this day for the first time this year. Could anyone point me to a good story online to tell my littles? Thanks!

A happy woman
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#15 of 20 Old 11-30-2009, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh - good thread - we are planning to celebrate this day for the first time this year. Could anyone point me to a good story online to tell my littles? Thanks!
I like these stories from the site Annettemarie suggested.
http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=437
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#16 of 20 Old 12-04-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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We started celebrating last year and we incorporated the King Laurin story into the day for us since my son's heritage in their last name is that my hubby's family were German shoemakers and so we went off the book The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler's Sons and we leave out wood shoes and light a candle for King Laurin to visit and he leaves oranges, nuts, comfits, and a couple gold coins-

there are a few pictures on my blog and links-
http://www.mamaroots.com/

-chris
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#17 of 20 Old 12-04-2009, 01:12 PM
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that's pretty cool stuff.

in the past, my husband and i celebrated Bodhi Day (day of buddha's enlightenment, dec 8), and in vietnam, this is celebrated also as Children's day, so it has a "christmans" feeling.

inspired by "advent," i designed an 8-day story/ritual to introduce my son to the concepts of buddha's story of enlightenment. then, i gleaned from many traditions and families ways to celebrate bodhi day:
  • put colored lights on the house to symbolize both enlightenment, and the many paths to enlightenment;
  • bring in and decorate a ficus (ficus religiousa if possible) or create a ficus tree with heart-shaped leaves and decorate it;
  • offer or eat milk and rice, the traditional meal offering given to buddha that helped him reach enlightenment;
  • light a candle at the table to symbolize enlightenment;
  • exchange gifts.

of course, after creating the different nd housing them in a notebook and such, my husband didn't like the idea of celebrating bodhi day in this "formalized" way, and told me he's uncomfortable practicing buddhism or raising hawk in an "organized" religion (even though he sees the benefits of organized religion and agrees that of those religions available, buddhism would be "best" for our family), and that he wants to be "more loose" about it.

he also asserts that he "likes christmas" but i'm not sure how to celebrate that independent of christianity, or without all of those infusions. but anyway, i can figure that out too.

what we both want to continue for certain is the firebird festival. obviously, carrying it into our home will be more simple, but we are thinking of making paper mache birds to burn each year on the small scale, and celebrating with drumming circles and music, story telling, and all of the fun things that we enjoy with the festival, including it's spiritual underpinnings of revival.

so, now my husband wants me to create that. LOL ok. i guess i can do that.

where things get tough for me is not that i think it's problematic to practice any of these other stories (from christianity) within waldorf, but that i don't want them to become the focus of our household's spiritual practices, when we both practice buddhism and mytho-poetic work in general.

i find that it fits fine with anthroposophy in general, and of course the myths of christianity--including st nick, etc, are valuable lessons. i just don't want christian myths to take over our household.

anyone have thoughts on this--valuing and honoring the christian traditions and underpinnings within anthroposophy without being christian in the household?

any insight would be great.

and for my own part, i would probably create a re-useable "hay" from something at a craft store, or a symbolic hay/carrots for the shoes. wool would be cute.
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#18 of 20 Old 12-04-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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We don't do waldorf but I saw this in new posts. We celebrate St. Nick day because my family is Dutch and we do all of what was mentioned. The kids put out their shoes and get some small presents. Sometimes we do a rhyming treasure hunt for them to find their gifts. I believe this is also a Dutch tradition but not positive. We were also always told that St Nick has a white donkey and a chimney sweep helper named Rupreckt (sp?) or Black Peter. Black Peter brings naughty children coal.
It is a Christian holiday (obviously) and we are not really Christian (though dh was certainly raised that way). But the story is beautiful and speaks to universal values such as giving and charity as well as being a special day for children. St Nick is the patron saint of children and I think it's a nice feeling for them that someone is looking out for them.
Hope you all have a good time with it!
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#19 of 20 Old 02-18-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Okay, this thread is certainly way old...but I am filling in my calendar for this whole year through December, and I had questions...came and found this old thread, yada yada

So, if you celebrate St. Nicholas day, do you also celebrate Christmas too? I'm trying to wrap my head around why St. Nicholas would come to deliver treats twice? How do I explain the difference to my children? Do you tell them that they are two different people? (even though the modern day Santa Claus is a new version of St. Nicholas). I guess I'm a little confused on how to do both days.

Thanks!

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#20 of 20 Old 02-19-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by daisymommy View Post
Okay, this thread is certainly way old...but I am filling in my calendar for this whole year through December, and I had questions...came and found this old thread, yada yada

So, if you celebrate St. Nicholas day, do you also celebrate Christmas too? I'm trying to wrap my head around why St. Nicholas would come to deliver treats twice? How do I explain the difference to my children? Do you tell them that they are two different people? (even though the modern day Santa Claus is a new version of St. Nicholas). I guess I'm a little confused on how to do both days.

Thanks!
I'm very curious as to this as well!

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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