As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more St. Nick! Christmas is such a magical time of year, full of faith and folklore. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of decorating Christmas cookies and checking off my list of Christmas shopping. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I am a lifer…..shopper that is. By the time I was in fifth grade, I was the babysitter extraordinaire, earning lots of cash. Beaming with pride, I would take my Le Sport Sac purse, stuffed with five’s, ten’s and the occasional twenty, to do a little Christmas shopping for my family. By plane, train, or automobile (actually, via the bus or the El) I would hit my favorite haunts; Water Tower, the Century Mall or Six Corners (Irving-Milwaukee-Cicero), with my little brother, Ray, in tow.
Growing up, of course, we always anxiously awaited the arrival of Christmas. Over and over, we poured through the Sears Wish Book. It was like the Christmas gift list bible. Pages dog ear-ed, coveted toys, clothes and accessories (okay, my brother really only wanted the toys) circled and starred with exclamation points. Christmas morning was always so exciting! We would take turns opening our presents, saving the best for last; our Christmas stockings!
When Nick was a Kindergartener at Our Lady of Perpetual Donations, we learned of a tradition that was new to us; celebrating the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, December 6th. What’s not to like? The evening of December 5th, rather than neatly putting away their shoes like they normally do (not Ho, Ho, Ho, but Ha, Ha, Ha), the children leave out their shoes for St. Nicholas to fill with treats and trinkets. As a devoted special maker and shopper, this was a celebration that I could totally get behind!
At our house, St. Nicholas stuffs Nick’s and Amanda’s shoes with little treasures. First thing in the morning, they would race down the stairs, delighted by the magic and wonder of it all. There would be chocolate, gold foil coins, Christmas ornaments, wind up toys, Christmas movies, stuffed animals, action figures and the like. As they’ve gotten older, St. Nick brings CD’s, DVD’s, I-Tunes gift cards, Amanda gets girly accessories like headbands and earrings, and of course chocolates.
Last night, after we took Wrigley for a hot lap around the neighborhood and as we were heading up to bed, I wondered if we should call the kids back down to leave their shoes out for St. Nicholas? Chuck said, “Give me a break. Nick is 18. I think St. Nick can just leave their presents on the Kitchen counter.” He had barely uttered the words “Kitchen counter” when the kids came flying down the stairs, Amanda leading the charge. She exclaiming, “We almost forgot to leave out our shoes for St. Nick!” Apparently you’re never too old or too cool to be a kid at heart!
More excitement, more treasures, more traditions, more magic of the season…….