Monday, December 9, 2013

Saint Nicholas Celebrations 2013

St Nicholas Day is one of the most eagerly awaited feast days in Advent for our family.
We tend to celebrate in many ways.
Of course the stockings have nothing to do with the excitement the younger children especially have for this day. Although I will admit that the hot chocolate comes in a pretty close second.
Our preparations start the night before with the hanging of the stockings I have made for the everyone.
Again this year we had difficulty working out where to hang them as we don't have the huge open fire place with had in our Tasmania house.
We solved our difficulty when one of the children suggested we hang them on a ribbon and secure them with a peg in readiness for the gifts to be placed inside
Poor little Trahaearn was a sleep already when this was happening so Autumn helped him hang his stocking.
Then most of the children went off to bed and the rest of the preparations began.
The first thing to do was to start making the Speculaa Cookies, (our recipe is here) as i needed time for them to cool down after to then be placed in to the stockings.
I decided that even though we made double the recipe that we would only cut out two per person for their stockings.
I really am glad they are such a simple shape to cut out and my trusty assistant Rogan was a fun to work with too.
It really has become part of any type of Feast preparations to have one or more of the children want to be part of helping me set up and it certainly is a lovely way to spend some individual time together.
Once they are on the trays it all starts to happen!!
On to stage two-
Making those chocolate Santa's into stately St Nicholas figures (how we do it here, although with much smaller figures)
Setting up in  a place to do this we started cutting out the paper Mitre for each St Nic
A box full of gold coins and potential ST Nicholas'-I was thrilled last year when I discovered for the first time large size Santas for only $1 at Aldis
As Rogan was finishing up the Mitres I started writing on the back of our traditional St Nicholas card I had printed out for each of us to keep in our special Feast Day boxes.
The empty stockings are about to be filled and this is the part Rogan has been looking forward to especially.
Only one thing remains before filling the stockings and that is setting the table and decorating it.
Doesn't  St Nicholas look fantastic?
Everything ready even though it isn't as decorated as I usually do. I'm pretty sure it was way past midnight by this stage due to a later bed time for little ones.
This year I put the St Nicholas card on the table instead of  in the stocking partly due to the missing laminator :)
Ta Da - the stockings are all stuffed.
Each year I usually end up taking something out of the packaging trying to fit it into the stockings.
We do keep the dollar limit to $10 each so finding things to put in can be a challenge too.
Bright and early, very early considering how late we went to bed , we were up to open the stockings. I am sure I remember in my sleep daze someone or two asking me even earlier if they could go downstairs 'just for a look?'
What was in the bags?
Hopefully something that each individual would love!
Each year not matter what the standard beginnings of a St Nicholas stocking are- speculaas, gold coins, an orange, Candy canes, and a St Nicholas card. This year I added a couple of smaller chocolates too.
Oh and these are my added presents. I just can't resist tea cups and these large ones are just perfect!
The next part of the day is the actual moving on to the Advent Study- Day 6 this year was obviously St Nicholas and these were the books we used this year.
I printed out (just a few as I often do way too may different varieties) of ST Nicholas activities to add to our work
Vellvin and Rogan were the directors of our play this year and they used The Bakers Dozen as the basis for the play, just to do something different.
Nearly all the children working on their activities as I read form the picture books.
Then dressing up for the play is as much fun as the actual play I think for the children- Moran was the old woman in the story.
A few extra parts were added so everyone could be involved - Arwen is a rich customer
When Stephen, Eden and Saxon were all home from work the play was aired.......
Freshly made Speculaas were needed as props, to be eaten at the plays end of course
The Baker and his son
The old woman
Vellvin was the narrator as well as a customer

It was a really good play and I loved that it was a different version than the ones we have had in previous years.
Good work to our children.

The rest of our evening passed fairly quickly and WITHOUT  the Hot Chocolate  to which I was shamefully reminded all weekend.

So on the plans for today will be the Hot Chocolate as part of our Advent Study - Candy Canes, Shepherds Crooks and Peppermint.

I pray you all had a most excellent feast day for ST Nicholas

Blessings to you and your homes,


Vellvin said...

I loved it, Mummy! <3 Thank you for doing it each year for us.
Love you lots, <3

Simply Shelley said...

Looks like a fun family way to celebrate a generous life....blessings

Unknown said...

Very sweet celebration. We just celebrated our second St. Nicholas day though my daughter is only 2 so it was very low key. Will love to bring more of the story of St. Nicholas to her in the coming years! I have been enjoying reading your blog for the last couple of months, I feel a lot of the things you do and celebrate with your family really resonate with me and are encouraging me with my little family. Look forward to hearing more. Blessings!


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