This year I am starting a new tradition for my little family and I thought I would share. It was inspired by my sweet friend Haley and her new book: Feast! Real Food, Reflections and Simple Living for the Christian Year. Haley, like me, is Catholic, but her ebook is great for any Christian wishing to feel more connected to the seasons of the Christian year.
I strive to make the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable. This year, determined to pare down on the holiday crazy, Peter and I vowed to give less gifts to Penelope. That meant I was done with shopping before Halloween and had all wrapping done before Thanksgiving.
Each year, we kick off the season for Penelope with a Christmas nightgown, a Christmas book, a Christmas dress for pictures and holiday events, and an ornament. After looking over everything, I decided that this year would be the start of a new tradition with these gifts. I thought, what if I give the gifts in conjunction with the arrival of her Elf on the Shelf (hers is named Toofy), a tradition we started last year.
And then after reading Haley’s book, I thought, DUH! I could give her those gifts on December 6th, St. Nicholas’ Day! St. Nicholas is who Santa Claus is inspired from. It’s typically a Northern European, especially German, tradition where you leave out your shoes for St. Nicholas to put presents into them. I am half German and although Peter’s family is Argentinian, his bloodline is German and Latvian. By giving her these special gifts on this special day, it’s the perfect way to honor our European roots and get it deeper touch with Advent traditions. Penelope’s grandmother, her Omi, did this tradition as a child growing up in Argentina, but they got gifts in their shoes on January 6th, Epiphany, the celebration of the three kings coming to visit baby Jesus.
We are kicking it off on December 6th, and I am excited to start a new tradition. I think that Penelope is going to love it! If you don’t want to give the kinds of presents we are giving Penelope, you could do a more traditional gift of clementines, chocolate and candy canes, or even a new pair of shoes, like Haley does!
I love this prayer for St. Nicholas that is featured in Haley’s book:
“Loving God, we thank you for the example of St. Nicholas, who fed the hungry, brought hope to the imprisoned and gave comfort to the lost, and taught the truth to all. May we strive to imitate him, by putting you first in all that we do. Give us the courage, love and strength, of St. Nicholas, so that, like him, we may serve you, through loving our brothers and sisters. Amen.”
I think it’s gonna be a great way to bring more of our Catholic roots back into our traditions. Both Peter and I are Catholic but we were not raised Catholic, so we are still trying to find our footing and figure out the traditions for our little family.
If you are interested in learning more, check out Haley’s book. It is a really beautiful book, full of inspiration, information and great recipes!
*The link to Haley’s ebook is an affiliate link. Thank you so much for supporting my business through buying through my affiliate link. I take affiliate link sharing very seriously, and only share the things that I truly love.