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St. Nicholas Day- A Day of Giving

December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. Here in the US this isn’t a day that is typically celebrated in the main stream, but in our home it’s become one of our favorite celebrations.

Needle felted St. Nicholas figure from Heart Felt Passion

 Saint Nicholas is celebrated for his giving spirit and to commemorate his day my children and I spend it preparing gifts for our neighbors and delivering them in secrecy.

Last year we packed festive tins full of our handmade goodies; bird seed cakes, paper ornaments, star lanterns (mama made), mini loaves of sweet bread and yummy cookies. Then, when it began to get dark, we took one to each of our nearest neighbors, ringing the bell and running away. My girls were so delighted by this secret giving!

Of course, we left our shoes out to be filled with small goodies in the morning, but this day was not focused on getting but on giving, needing no thanks or recognition in return.

Our gifts were simply small surprises to make our neighbors smile, but another good way to give on this day would be to encourage your children to go through their toys and choose some to pass along to other children. What other ways of giving could your children contribute to?

For more ideas on celebrating St. Nicholas day check out this page from the St. Nicholas Center. And if you already celebrate I’d love to hear some of your family’s traditions.


Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.

6 thoughts on “St. Nicholas Day- A Day of Giving

  1. I love this – using St. Nicholas day as a day to give to your neighbours. And such lovely packages. If I get my act together, I think we’ll do this, too!

  2. I love the idea of giving the gifts to the neighbours. This celebration is the biggest children’s celebration in the Netherlands (rather than Santa coming at Christmas with gifts). While not living in my home country, we still celebrate this with our believing children, but this would be a great addition to our celebration for them. . . thanks for the idea

  3. Thanks for sharing your St. Nicholas traditions! I’ve never done the secret gift-giving, but I like that.

  4. […] Julie Hunter of This Cozy Life recently published a post on her family’s St. Nicholas Day traditions, which you may read here: St. Nicholas Day- A Day of Giving. […]

  5. Oh, I love the secret gift-giving! And that’s a great Saint Nicholas!

  6. we have it here in the Netherlands too, But not celebrated like this at all..
    here the kids get a small something (candy or fruit or small handmade toy) in their shoes 2 weeks before dec 5th and at the day dec5th our neigbour gets a call from us. So he come and rangs the doorbell `leaving ` loads of presents at the doorstep we added their ourselves for our kids… As we don’t have presents with Christmas this is THE day of the year all kids dream of 🙂 we told our kids last year the big secret about St NIcolaas, so we skipped the neigbour calling part and added the presents in the livingroom ,while they were taking a bath and getting on their Pj’s. This year we made fake presents with in the boxes a note with a rhyme telling where in the house they should search for their present… they loved it 🙂

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