Mini Christmas: Saint Nicholas Day!

Ever wonder how people around the world celebrate Christmas?

Well, when my husband was seven he lived in the Netherlands (Holland). And while his family lived there for several years he experienced a tradition that most Americans don’t practice. Saint Nicholas’ Eve.

On the evening of December 5th-young children put their shoes in front of the chimneys, or outside their door and sing songs to Santa Claus, who they call Sinterklaas. Often they put a carrot or some hay in the shoes, as a gift to St. Nicholas’ horse. The next morning they will find a small present in their shoes, ranging from sweets to marbles or some other small toy.

This tradition is practiced in slightly different ways in different countries including-The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and all over central Europe. And some countries celebrate the day on December 6th instead.

In order to bring some of her daddy’s childhood traditions into our Christmas season- we will put our daughters shoes outside our door tonight  along with her great grandfathers traditional wooden shoes he bought in Holland!

I think celebrating Saint Nicholas’ Eve will be nice way to talk to our daughter about other countries in the future, and how different cultures celebrate in different ways. It will also be a good way to talk about what we believe the season is really about in contrast to other beliefs – as well as a jumping off place for talking about where other countries are located and how they are similar and different than the country we are in!

It’s not too late to bring a little European flair to your Christmas season by trying this tradition out!

Is your family celebrating in a way that honors your heritage or another countries traditions? I’d love to know!

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