Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, 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!

Monday, December 2, 2019

St. Nick's Day Is Friday!

I know we just celebrated Thanksgiving, but St. Nick's Day is right around the corner on Thursday 12/6! If you are out Christmas shopping this weekend, you may want to keep an eye out for little stocking stuffers. I have some stocking stuffer ideas and a little history on St. Nick's Day below.

I used to love St. Nick's Day when I was a kid. I remember waking on on December 6th, eager to see what my stocking of goodies contained. When I was a little older, I learned that not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day. In the US, it seems like it is more in the German and Dutch ancestry communities. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of the holiday until she came here for college. She thought it was very odd that they told her to put her shoe outside her door!

Who Was St. Nick?
St. Nicholas (St. Nick) was 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, which the needed in order to get married. Without the dowries, their futures looked bleak. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (There are different stories with different times frames: 1 night, 3 nights, 3 years.)

How To Celebrate:
Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out in front of our bedroom door 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. You could also hang or place them on the fireplace. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!
Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
  • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave. (You can ask for them at the bank.)
  • Candy. My favorite are the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops. The boys like getting the soda flavored jelly beans that come in a small soda bottle. (Target or Amazon carry them.)
  • Small games or deck of cards.
  • Books or comic books.
  • Small coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, fun shaped pens, etc. The coloring book link is to Amazon, but Target and Michael's often have these Grab & Go packs for $1.
  • Barrettes, headbands.
  • Grab and Go games. These fit into stockings and are great for car rides or while sitting in restaurants. Some of our favorites are Clue, Connect Four, Trouble, Battleship, and Guess Who.
  • Special ornament. We get each kid their own ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. (Even if I just write it on with a Sharpie.) We try to make it special for that year. (An apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if the took a train ride, ballet slippers or musical instrument for first show/concert.)
  • For older kids: gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store. Or a new phone case, ear buds for phone/computer/i-pod.
  • Hot chocolate mix.
  • Small stuffed animals.
  • Lego's. There are so many kinds! (Ninjago, a box of Lego's, Nexo Knights, Minecraft, Friends.). Lego also has Ornaments. 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 stuffer. (Lego has these in stores or online. Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, and sometimes even the grocery store will carry these.)
  • Small toys. (Hexbugs, small Nerf guns, Matchbox or Hot Wheels)
  • Art supplies. (sketch pads, pencils, pens, paints, crayons, stickers...)
  • Pez Dispensers. I loved getting each year as a kid. I used to have a small collection of them, but they got misplaced during moving. They come in a lot of varieties! (Christmas, Star Wars, Avengers, Scooby Doo, Princess, Presidents...)
  • Toothbrush.
  • Flashlight.
  • Temporary tattoos.
  • Chapstick or lip gloss.
  • Small fruit (clementines, apples).
  • Compass. 
  • Gum.
  • Elf On The Shelf. Our Elf, Eugene, originally came to us on St. Nick's Day.
  • New video game or DVD. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a game or DVD.
  • Advent Calendar.
    • For Kids: Even though they may get it a few days late, they'll still enjoy it! There are the traditional chocolate calendars, which I have seen at Target/grocery stores/craft stores this year. There are also a lot of non-food types available! [Lego City, Lego Star Wars, Lego Friends, PlayMobil, Play-Doh, Minions, Hatchimals, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels, Disney (Tsum Tsum, Olaf/Frozen), Paw Patrol, Crayola, VTech, and even a bead craft option.] There are also simple countdown versions. NOTE: I have had a hard time find the Lego calendar when it gets closer to December. Sometimes I found it, but it was through a 3rd party seller and they raised the price by at least $10. Check online and in stores early to make sure you get the one you want and for the regular p
    • For Adults: There are a lot of adult themed Advent Calendars too! Master of Malt offers many different alcoholic calendars (especially whiskey and scotch). Last year I bought myself an Advent Calendar with nicer dark chocolates. I even saw some with socks for every day! 
    • For Pets:
      • Dogs: 
        • New Toy (Honky Hedgehog, bone, ball)
        • Whimzees These are the teeth cleaning treats I buy for J. She loves them, and I like the ingredients a lot better than some of the other dental products out there. Plus, they come in some cute shapes!
        • Bully Sticks
        • Booties for their feet These are the only booties J will wear. They are thin enough she can still feel the ground, but still protect her feet from ice and snow.
        • Homemade Peanut Butter Pumpkin Biscuits (click link for recipe)
      • Cats: 

St. Nicholas (Wikipedia)

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