06 December 2012

spirit of season.

shoes 2

As a child, we always celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas Day. I can remember the traditions that my mother started, most likely wondering if they would carry on or end with her children's youth.

I can remember the soft scent of evergreens that filled our home. Sometimes the tree was decked with lights and ornaments, and other times it sat bare in the corner. Waiting to be dressed in it's glamorous accessories and glistening lights. But the tree was always up.

As I raced around preparing for school, something that came so early on those chilly mornings, I never forgot to set out my shoe. I would search for the largest boot I could find. Sometimes it was a rain boot, sometimes a cowboy boot and as I became older, a fashionably tall boot.

As my mother would tuck me into bed and say her good-nights she always reminded me of the meaning of Christmas. I'm sure she became tired of my "ya, ya I get it's" and my "Mom, seriously, I know," but she never said a word. She tucked me in, kissed me on the forehead and said, "Perhaps St. Nick will visit our house tonight."

Last night, as I ran around preparing for school once again, I watched my children search for their shoes. They lined them up by the door in hopes that St. Nicholas would appear. As we hurried up the stairs I was whisked away to my childhood by the scent of evergreens that lingered in the air.

I softly tucked my little ones into bed and gently reminded them of the true meaning of Christmas.

For now, they are silent.
For now, they listen to my words.
For now, they wait patiently for the spirit of St. Nick to arrive.

We awoke to shoes filled with treats to carry us through our day. Small pieces of sweet candy, books to color and read, stories about believing and the spirit of the season.

In case you're not familiar with St. Nicholas:
Nicholas was born in the 3rd century in Lycia, now Turkey. He was a Roman Catholic bishop who helped the poor, sick, and children in need. He gave in secret, expecting nothing in return. After his death the legend of his gift-giving grew. St. Nicholas transformed into the legendary character called Santa Claus, who brings Christmas presents to children around the world.

You can read more about St. Nicholas here.

As a side note, I do not typically talk about religion here, but celebrating this feast day is rooted into my family's history. It is something I want to carry on in hopes of my children gifting it to their little ones.

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