Tuesday, December 6, 2011
6th activity of Advent: St. Nicholas' Day
Here are our shoes, late last night, after I filled them. We've maintained some mystery about how they get filled, but Lucy is very adept at figuring out what's "real" and "pretend." When she asked me, as we set out our shoes, if Sinterklaas coming was pretend, I said yes. She seemed fine with that answer, as it fit her view of the world. But somehow, the magic of childhood always takes over. This morning, upon seeing the filled shoes, she asked "Why did he put those in our shoes? Did you see him come? Maybe you were cleaning. Maybe you were still putting me to bed." I love it.
I love this even more: "Mama, yours doesn't have anything special under the grapefruit! Why? If you want, you can have one of my honey sticks." Honey sticks are one of her very favorite treats, and she'd received two. By the time she realized my shoes didn't have much in them, she'd already eaten one, but still offered me the other. She's always that generous. Wow. (Not to worry; Sinterklaas returned later with a bit of candy for Mama.)
Her attitude suited the mood of the day perfectly: giving.
We quickly made up the new-and-improved cookies before the kids arrived this morning.
I assembled simple packages of cookies and a flower made with some of Lucy's painted-coffee-filter art.
And then this evening, we set off in the drizzling rain to leave our anonymous surprises at our neighbors' doors. What fun we had, knocking on the door and then run, run, running away! Most of the neighbors were not home, and when they open the door, they'll have no idea that it was St. Nicholas' Day today, but it doesn't matter. It was joyful, and meaningful to us, and I think it's bound to be a tradition for us in coming years.
Happy Saint Nicholas' Day!