When Nicholas was a young man, his parents died and left him a big inheritance. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, especially for children. One such story says that there was a poor man who had three daughters whom could not afford a dowry for them. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man's daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. That is why our kids get their stockings on Jolly Ol' St. Nick's feast day.
Along with their stockings, the kids always find a letter from St. Nick, praising them for good deeds they have done and also some friendly suggestions on what they could improve on. ;)
In honor of this generous giver, the stockings are hung a week in advance in case anyone in the house would like to leave something for the others to find. Little Miss Chatterbox worked very hard on writing stories and drawing pictures for her parents and siblings. This led to the boys doing the same. It was so sweet to see them drawing each others favorites things. It was even sweeter when they found each others "goodies". They were all so thankful and so excited to give. It was the highlight of my day and I'm pretty sure St. Nicholas was proud too. ;)
They were all very excited with what they found in their stockings. But Mr. Funny had the best reaction. He was overjoyed with his new G.I. Joe which Mike's mom gave me to give to the boys.
On the kitchen table the kids found chocolate St. Nick's, complete with a candy cane crosier and gold coins.
We had Catholic Schoolhouse that day so I had to wake the kids up extra early. I decided to let Little Miss Sunshine sleep in a little longer so she didn't get her stocking until after the other kids had already opened theirs.
I put a little holy card of Our Lady of Victory (one of her patron saints) in her stocking and she kissed it over and over! My little Sunshine loves to give kisses. ;)
I found this little tin full of candy canes at our local grocery store. I was so excited! I thought it was really cute but Little Miss Sunshine didn't quite understand what it was. haha
Happy Saint Nicholas Day!