Since then, our Alex's birthday has offered us a break every year from increasingly hectic Christmas shopping. I feel that that's what the celebration of St Nicholas' Day offers a lot of families-- it's a splash of joy and holiday cheer, a chance to put aside the list of things to be done and just enjoy the season.
So, we're joining the throngs of wise people who celebrate St Nicholas' Day this year and we're wondering why we didn't do this sooner.
Now, in an effort to spread a little holiday cheer, I post a list of my favorite things about this time of year in the order they pop into my head...
- Marshmallows. Square ones, round ones, even those tiny chalky ones found in store-bought cocoa mixes, but not so much the colored ones.
- Snowflakes and snowmen illustrated in children's books, pictured on mugs and dinner plates, happy little snowmen and paper snowflakes, or these (HT: Lifenut).
- Flannel sheets, slippers, and quilts with wool batting.
- Candle lit dinners around our Our Advent wreath and the late evening glow from our Nativity.
- Knitted hats and scarves and mittens with strings.
- Boy's woolen church coats with toggles or buttons.
- Christmas carolers and song books.
- "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!"
- Our woodstove burning bright with a trivet of steaming cinnamon and cloves on top.
- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Choir of King's College Cambridge. It begins with the single voice of a young boy leading "Once in Royal David's City." I understand a new child is selected every year, quite an honor (terrifying too, I'm sure). Also, this recording of the Congregational Hymn "While Shepherds Watched" captures the very essence of Christmas in sound.