My parents never give me and my siblings Christmas presents. Before you start to think my parents are stingy, every December 5th, we’re all supposed to leave a shoe out and in the morning ‘St. Nicholas’ will have left us something.
Full disclosure, I actually believed St. Nicholas really and truly miraculously brought me presents every year until I was like 13.
While I’m as of yet on the fence about whether or not it’s good to trick children into believing in magical things, I love that my parents started this tradition. Santa Claus comes from the story of the real St. Nicholas, a bishop of Myra. He knew of a family whose daughters needed money for their dowries, so he left bags of gold for them in their home. Basically, my parents wanted to give their kids the Catholic version of Santa. I’m fine with that, but since I was a teenager before the spell was broken for me, I wonder how necessary it is to give kids made-up wonders. But that’s a topic for another post.
I have so many memories of being filled with absolute wonder every December 6th as my siblings and I ran to our shoes and compared presents. I remember there was one year, in particular, my oldest sister kept teasing me leading up to St. Nicholas Day, saying a peanut was all I would get in my shoe. Come the 6th, I received a pair of binoculars and a package of Nutter Butters. It was a hilarious coincidence since ‘St. Nicholas’ hadn’t known about the joke.
Since I still live at home, I actually have had some of my youngest brother’s gifts hiding in my room for almost a month. I’ve also put my own presents in my own shoe multiple times when my mom was busy and a little bit behind so I offered to help out.
At this point in my family, my mom is mailing gifts out to three children and one son-in-law, and all but one of her kids know the truth about where the presents really come from. No matter. even when we’re all grown up and moved out, I’m confident my mom will continue gifting us all on the 6th.
This year, I received a cutting board with a paring knife, Bananagrams and a pair of socks.
Thanks, St. Nick.