We celebrated our first St. Nicholas Day today. Yesterday we read stories and I waited til just before bedtime to tell them about putting their shoes out to be filled with a special treat. Oh, you should have seen their eyes light up! Kaiya wanted to know who would fill the shoes and I kind of danced around the subject. I'm not one for out right fabrication of characters and honestly I would prefer they look on this holiday as an observance of this wonderful man, a celebration of his life and a call to emulate him in our own lives. But, far be it from me to spoil any magic they may conjure up themselves. By morning, though, she had already decided it was mama that had filled their shoes, not that this diminished it for them one bit.
We decided to celebrate by playing St. Nick ourselves and spent the day in the kitchen making up lots of goodies for our family that lives nearby. We baked cinnamon sugar cookies and banana nut bread in mini loaves. And we made bird seed hearts using the wonderful tutorial from The Magic Onions blog.
We placed the food goodies, along with with some candy canes in pretty tin buckets and wrapped up the bird seed cakes along with a paper star lantern and some of these sweet little ornaments in tissue paper.
By the time we were finished it was getting dark (though, not nearly as dark as this picture would have you believe) so we bundled up and went out to make our deliveries. My grandmother lives just up the hill so we set the packages down on her step, rang the bell and ran like mad. Next stop my brother who wasn't home but left the door unlocked so we dropped them inside. Lastly my sister and her family who live next door. My nephew had caught us in the middle of our baking frenzy so he let us know when the coast was clear and we dropped the gifts off on the porch, threw something at the door and off we ran! The girls just loved this sneaky giving and at least Kaiya got that we were giving in secret as St. Nicholas had done.