Monday, December 6, 2010
You've Been Saint Nicked
It was a most peculiar day indeed. It was our first Saint Nicholas Feast Day in our new home back on December 6th, 2003. Morning came and the children were once again delighted that even in the new house Saint Nicholas found their shoes and filled them with treats on his very special day. We were just settling down to begin our schooling when the door bell rang. I opened the door and saw nothing but footprints leading to and from our door in the freshly fallen snow. Wonder who would be playing tricks this time of day since all of the other children in the neighborhood are in school by now I thought to myself. Just as I was about to close the door a little white bag decorated with red ribbon and Christmas stamps that was sitting on the step caught my eye. Cautiously I picked up the bag and brought it inside.
Inside the bag were numerous homemade confections and cookies with a little note that read, "In the Spirit of Saint Nicholas of Myra, You've been Saint Nicked." My children were delighted. Eight more times that day our door-bell rang. Eight more times there were only foot prints and similar bags with assorted treats. All of them labeled with the same type of message.
"Have a Blessed Saint Nicholas Day! You've been Saint Nicked!" "Happy Saint Nicholas Feast Day!" "In the Spirit of Saint Nicholas of Myra, You've been Saint Nicked."
Many of them had coloring sheets, or holy cards of Saint Nicholas inside. One had a Saint Nicholas Paper Doll, and all of them had an explanation of who this saint was.
I asked around the home school group the next day, but all pretended to know nothing about it. Finally a close friend winked at me and told me that another mother had brought the tradition of "Saint Nicking" about 3 years before when they had first moved to the city. The tradition took off amongst many of the parish families and it had become quite a sport with the kids to see whether or not they would get caught. The tradition had spread to not just "Saint Nicking" other home school families, but other friends, relatives, the parish priest, and unsuspecting neighbors. It had become quite the evangelizing tool as well as being a lot of fun all done in secret to celebrate a wonderful saint.
Since that first Saint Nicholas Day here, Our family has joined in the fun too! Even my husband has gotten into the act by going with us on more difficult houses, mapping routes, and even helping to package. We look forward to this every year. Sometimes its quite a challenge. Just last night I found a treat bag on my pillow. How it got there I don't know. What are your favorite Saint Nick Traditions?