Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas! (Dec. 6)
We had a busy weekend out of town and an even busier Sunday afternoon, but still wanted to celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas with the girls. So we made our spice cookies (Speculaas) and set out our shoes Sunday night. Typically you would set out your shoes on Dec 5 on the eve of his feast day. (Dec 6)
Anyway, we made our cookies from this quick recipe I found here. I did omit the lemon zest from the original recipe and added molasses.
My favorite organic all purpose flour on Amazon
They were pretty amazing with a glass of milk.
We set our shoes out on the front porch, and the girls came running in this morning excited to find their little surprises. (A matching sweater for each of them, and a little bracelet.)
There was always a lingering feeling of guilt spending too much time/effort on the materialistic things during the Christmas season, as it seems like I was taking away from the true reason for Christmas.
But I feel like we have found good balance. These few tips help us as a family, and I would love to hear yours as well!
- Holding off on getting the tree too early.. as we try to keep it up until at least Epiphany (The 12th day of Christmas)
- Celebrating Saint Nicholas’ Feast Day -Dec 6
- Explaining that Santa Claus IS Saint Nicholas, and that is why he is “magic” – because he is a saint in heaven.
- Understanding that we get presents to celebrate Jesus’s birthday.
- We use our advent wreath throughout the season, and put emphasis on preparing our souls each week for the Blessed Mother to give us her son. **I find the kids respond well to explaining that mothers love their babies and children very much. And we would never let anyone even hold our baby that we weren’t sure was a kind person, someone who listens the first time, and someone who knows how important and fragile the baby is. And finally, that we have to be really sure we are ready by Christmas to ask the Blessed Mother to give us her son in our souls.
I personally love this article. Kendra from catholicallyear.com does a great job explaining believing in Santa Claus.