St. Nicholas Day - Our Family's Mini-Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Note: Contains some affiliate links.

Hope you are all enjoying St. Nicholas Day today! 

We have ramped up what St. Nicholas means in our house. We normally travel to Texas for Christmas, but my husband and I were talking about how we also miss a bit of that small family Christmas too. Our solution to get the best of both - celebrate St. Nicholas as a mini-Christmas!
Here's what that means.

Stockings Filled By St. Nick!

I grew up leaving stockings out for St. Nick, not shoes, so that's what we do. St. Nicholas comes during the night and leaves little goodies. 

I tend to do a chocolate something and something to play with. This year that was a chocolate orange (the kind you smash and it cracks it into slices), rice crispy treats, Skip bo game for John and a painting book for Therese. A sweet old lady at church gave me some Nativity stickers for them so they got those in their stockings too!

The adults got gifts too!


We know each other so well. Guess whos who...

Cinnamon Rolls

I make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls the afternoon before so they are ready to pop into the oven in the morning while we're doing stockings.

John saw me rolling out the dough, "Whoa Momma. My goodness, it's so long!"
The kids get to help with the sprinkling of the filling part, then it's into the fridge until morning!

Pro tip, use a cutting board to make your dishes stackable!


I love these free St. Nicholas bookmarks from Paper Dali. We will be coloring those. I like to "laminate" them with clear packing tape to make them more sturdy.

We will also be watching the CCC St. Nicholas, the Boy Who Became Santa Claus movie this afternoon.

Gift Exchange

This started as just a practical I-don't-want-to-haul-gifts-to-Texas thing, but I actually just really like spreading out the gift giving. These gifts are not from Santa - we're very clear that these are the families gifts to each other.
Typically we do that after dinner on St. Nicholas Day. This year we might also be decorating our tree! It's just a little tabletop artificial tree, but we haven't had a Christmas tree in a number of years so it's exciting!


Side note: one of my favorite fun stories about St. Nicholas has to with what went down at the Council of Nicaea.
The gist of it is Arius, of the Arian heresy, gave a prolonged argument promoting Arianism at the Council. St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, was so incensed at what he was hearing he walked across the room and slapped/punched (stories seem to vary as to what exactly he did there) Arius in the face.

Such a good story. "Remember that one time Santa Claus punched Arius in the face? Good times...."
How are you celebrating today? Any fun traditions for St. Nicholas that you grew up with?


  1. I think you are brilliant for ramping up St. Nicholas day since you travel for Christmas. We've done different things every year for Christmas regarding travelling, so I try to do something extra-special family tradition-wise on Epiphany, but I would love to do more on St. Nicholas day, too. Growing up, we did stockings, but I really like using shoes now, so the past few years, my husband and I have had candy in our shoes (this year, its mandarin oranges and dark chocolate coins). We'll be eating Greek garbanzo bean soup later on, since the area of Turkey where he was from was Greek at the time. We may do more next year, when Peter's old enough to understand that stuff is happening.

    1. Oh I love tying in Greek food! Going in the file for next year.

  2. Love the meme :) And thank you for the recipe! My husband "claims" that he doesn't like baked goods and/or cinnamon, but... I think he's lying. In any case, we'll just keep baking things til he gives in. ;)
    I've also found the Nicholas video available to rent/watch online! I'm grateful for this option because I didn't quite have my act together enough to order this in time for today... :)

    1. Well my DVD decided to bite the dust this afternoon, so I'm streaming it with ya! (And going to order a replacement before next year.)

  3. The kids woke up to an orange, a tiny chocolate Santa who had been St. Nick-ified with a paper miter, and a small gift. We read about St. Nicholas, too. It was a good day!

    1. I was looking so hard for little chocolate santas! All the stores near me had HUGE ones, and all I could think was "no way am I giving this to my 2 year old at 6am".
      So I settled for rice crispy treats and a chocolate orange. Way better. #MomLogic


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