Saint Nicholas Day the Tenth?

December 7th, 2011

I’ve lost track of how long we’ve been celebrating St. Nicholas Day.  Since my almost-thirteen-year-old was very small. I was visiting a friend on Sunday evening when I got a text message from him: “Night mom st nick day tomorrow.” I double-checked my calendar and texted him back that St. Nicholas Day was on Tuesday, the sixth. I came home and nearly tripped over a dozen pairs of shoes set by the door in anticipation of chocolate coins from the Bishop of Myra.

The Littlest Who, already in bed by the time I straightened his brother out on the date, greeted me the next morning with an expression of utter dejection. “Saint Nicholas didn’t come,” he said. “It’s tomorrow, sweetheart,” I told him, and he cheered up immediately. Faith restored.

I never meant for Saint Nicholas to join the cast of gift-bearing magical characters. God knows, we have a hard enough time keeping up with the standard issue ones. I originally adopted the saint’s feast day as a release valve for all the pressure there is to celebrate Christmas before its time. By letting the kids decorate their little “Saint Nicholas Tree” in their room I thought I could preserve the pregnant Advent space in the rest of the house.

It turns out that saints aren’t that easily contained. Saint Nicholas arrives year after year, filling sneakers and rubber clogs with golden coins and tracking in Christmas all over the place.

“Can we decorate the big Christmas tree this weekend, please? PLEASE?”

“But it’s not Christmas yet.”

Tell that to my ten-year-old, who slept all night in the Santa hat that came out of the box with the Saint Nicholas tree ornaments, his face bathed in sugarplum light.

Tell it to the weather that conspired to bring us this today:

In fifteen years, I’ve never seen snow fall so early (or stealthily) on Little Rock. Maybe Christmases are meant to come like babies into the world: on their own schedule, with little regard for the state of preparations or the date circled on the calendar.

Honey, I think it’s time.

3 Responses to “Saint Nicholas Day the Tenth?”

  1. Sheryl says:

    We celebrate St Nicholas Day too. In addition to chocolate coins we give the kids their yearly ornaments, and a giant candy cane. I like holidays that don’t have so much pressure and expectation attached to them.

  2. Linda Tannahill says:

    My nine year old Granddaughter, informed me that there was indeed a real Santa Clause, St Nicholas, many, many years ago. The joy of knowing that Santa was real, made her face brighten, because Santa in the Red Suit is for little girls. I think she would just love to celebrate St. Nicholas Day….Kyran,Thank you for sharing..Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas Season…Linda

  3. […] all year. The finished product really is cute. I told them they could have a gamer theme for their St. Nicholas tree this […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.