Every year we celebrate St. Nicholas Day, which is tomorrow - Wednesday, Dec. 6.
If you're not a fan of Santa, that's OK, because this holiday actually celebrates St. Nicholas, who was a real person. Fun fact: He was a bishop in Greece who was known for leaving coins in people's shoes.
So ... we put our boots out on the evening of Dec. 5 with cookies, milk and maybe some carrots for the reindeer. The children also include their lists of demands, yes - that's what I call their Christmas list. Then, Santa - or St. Nicholas I should say - comes and collects the lists, rolls his eyes, eats the cookies (or feeds them to the birds) and fills their boots with candy.
It's a fun way to get the kids excited for the holiday and everyone in the Christmas spirit. It's one more thing on my list, but I don't mind because they get so excited over this little gesture. It's like a mini Christmas. It makes me take a step back and think about Christmas day and how much we tend to overdo it. This year I'm scaling way back (please insert a 'that's what she said' right here). Refrigerator boxes and bubble wrap for everyone!
No, but seriously, I'm not overdoing it this year. I've thought of doing that three presents thing because Jesus got three presents - except that historically he didn't get three presents. I mean, there were three notable things: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh, which is the equivalent of saying books, toys and clothes. I think Jesus was a hipster and would like me to be unconventional. Maybe I will do four and a half.
Historical tangent: There also weren't three kings - they were magi, or wise men, and we're not sure how many there were. They took 12 days to get to Jesus, which would mean Amazon would have until Jan. 5, if Jesus was really born on the 25th, which he was not. He was born in late summer/early fall.
Anyway, bring on the Christmas!
I encourage everyone to celebrate this day with me in whatever clever way you see fit.
Because who wants to be the only one staying up late to fill up the least stinky boot with candy the children will try to eat in lieu of breakfast, then hiding elves somewhere they haven't been yet, half eating carrots so it looks like a reindeer somehow made it down the chimney (because St. Nick's not a big enough stretch) and chasing it all down with milk even though you're lactose intolerant.
It's called love people.
Happy St. Nicholas Day!
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.