December 05, 2004

St. Nick

Here in Milwaukee, many families that I know celebrate a gift-giving holiday on December 6th involving St. Nick (not Santa Claus -- St. Nick). December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas, but I had never heard of this holiday until moving here. Anyway, on the night of December 5th, children hang up their Christmas stockings and find them filled the next morning by St. Nick. In asking people about the origins of this holiday, I have heard several explanations. For every religious or ethnic group ("X") that exists in Milwaukee, I have heard an explanation that St. Nick is an "X thing." It is a German Thing, a Norwegian Thing, a Dutch Thing, a Catholic Thing, etc. I also can't get a handle on whether St. Nick and Santa Claus are the same person.

For the time being, I am ignoring this holiday. I am waiting to see if my kindergartener mentions it tomorrow. Last year, she came home from junior kindergarten telling me that some kids already had presents in their stockings. I played dumb. "Really? That's weird." Maybe I can use it to my advantage. "Oh, those kids must have been really, really good this year. I guess you should try to be really, really good this year."

Posted by Christine at December 5, 2004 09:21 PM | TrackBack