Yep, we believe in Santa Claus.
That is to say, we have studied and appreciate a cool historical guy, Saint Nicholas.
Over time, I’ve posted a couple of things about our journey in this direction over at the Life on the Road blog:
We are still unsettled logistically and financially after all we’ve been through in the last couple of years, and our move to Mississippi, so I didn’t get things as “together” as I would like to for this year.
But we still had a blast decorating the tree, eating holiday junk food and a special meal, and opening our gifts on the feast of St. Nicholas. (Although, again, we did not get as far as we wanted on our journey this year, we do strive for more thoughtful gifts, hopefully hand-made, etc.).
We put out stockings, which “St. Nicholas” fills with chocolate coins, an orange (see the traditions in the links above), and small gifts… And the kids enjoy it. But they do know that we are celebrating in this fun way in the spirit of St. Nicholas, a hero of the faith.
On Christmas Eve, we will do another round of fun in St. Nicholas’ name – leaving small gifts on the porches of some of our local friends and neighbors (this year: oranges, tied up in cloth, with a note explaining some of the traditions, and our Christmas-preserving purpose).
Eventually, hopefully next year, I would like to do a more full “Advent” time of study and celebration.
I’ve heard a few other fun suggestions recently:
- Celebrating Three Kings’ Day (Epiphany)
- Exchanging gifts on the Orthodox Christmas (is that on Epiphany?)
- Doing your gift exchange as a “Yule” celebration on the first day of winter
What else can we, as Christians and parents, do to preserve Christmas as a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior?