Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

St. Nick's Day

I know it seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving, but St. Nick's Day is Wednesday 12/6! I have a little history about St. Nick's Day and some Stocking Stuffer ideas below!

I used to love St. Nick's Day when I was a kid. I remember waking up on December 6th, excited to see what my stocking of goodies contained. I later learned that not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in German and Dutch communities and in Europe. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of it until she came here for college and they told her to put a shoe outside her door.

Who Was St. Nick?
St. Nicholas was basically the model for the jolly man himself (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas was from a wealthy family and would secretly give out gifts to people. The story I remember hearing was about a father who had three daughters. He was poor and could not afford dowries for the girls. Without the dowry the girls' future was bleak. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (Some accounts have it over 1 night, 3 nights, or even 3 years.)

How To Celebrate:
Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out the night before St. Nick's Day. My husband's tradition was to put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other families put out shoes instead of stockings. The night of December 5th, place a stocking or shoe outside the children's door(s) and fill it with goodies. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!


Ideas from years past. I find lots of great items in Target's dollar section. Michael's also has some fun stocking stuffers.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
  • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave.
  • Candy (I just picked up cute soda flavored jelly beans in a small soda shaped bottle at Target.) My favorite is the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops.
  • Small games or deck of cards.
  • Books or Comic Books.
  • Small coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, fun pens, etc. The coloring book link is to Amazon, but Target and Michael's often have these Grab & Go packs for $1.
  • Small stuffed animals.
  • Grab and Go games. These fit in stockings and are great for car rides or while sitting in restaurants. Some of our favorites are ClueConnect FourGuess Who, Battleship, and Trouble.
  • Barrettes, headbands.
  • Hot chocolate mix.
  • Lego's (There's so many kinds! Ninjago, a box of Lego's,  Nexo Knights, Minecraft, Friends.) Lego also has Ornaments: There are several to choose from. Kids build the Lego figure and place them inside a clear round ornament to hang on the tree. The boys loved them! The mini figure packs are also great stocking stuffers (Lego online or in stores carry these, as well as Amazon or Target. Sometimes even the grocery stores or Wal-Mart will have these.).
  • Small toys.
  • Art supplies (crayons, pencils, pens, drawing pads, paints, pencil sharpener, stickers...)
  • Special ornament (We get each kid an ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. We try to make it special for that year. Examples include an apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if they took a train ride, etc.)
  • Pez Dispensers (I loved getting these every year. I used to have a small collection, but now I have no idea where it is. They come in so many varieties you are sure to find one everyone.) They have ChristmasStar WarsAvengersScooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
  • Flashlight.
  • Stickers.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Temporary tattoos.
  • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon, beef jerky, new phone case.
  • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
  • Chapstick (or lip gloss).
  • Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars.
  • Small fruit (clementines, apples).
  • Hexbugs.
  • Gum.
  • Compass.
  • Small Nerf Guns.
  • DVD: Target's $5 movie rack is a great place to find these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
  • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene originally came to us on St. Nick's Day.
  • Advent Calendar. 
    • Kids: It's a little late, but they will like having a few days to open at one time! There is, of course, the normal chocolate calendar. (I found some at Michael's and at the grocery store.) There are also non-chocolate calendars: Lego, Lego Star Wars, Lego Friends, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels, PlayMobil, Play-Doh, Minions, Disney (Tsum TsumOlaf/Frozen) and even a bead craft option. There are also simple countdown versions. Note: Last year I had a hard time finding the regular Lego calendar, it seemed to be sold out everywhere! Most of the online ones for sale were people reselling it for at least $10 more than the normal price. I finally found on at a local Barnes & Nobles bookstore. Check online and in stores early to make sure you get the one you want for the regular price.
    • Adults: There are lots of adult themed Advent Calendars available too! Master of Malt offers many different alcoholic (especially whiskey and scotch) calendars. I bought myself a nicer chocolate Advent Calendar with dark chocolates.
       
LINKS
St. Nicholas, Wiki
http://www.stnicksday.com/

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