It turns out that people have been celebrating St. Nicholas day, December 6 each year, a long time before Santa Claus came around. On St. Nicholas day people around the world, mostly in Europe, honor this saint from long ago. I know, what does this have to do with shoe racks?
Not exactly much, but it has everything to do with shoes! Stories of the original St. Nick tell of a generous man who gave to the poor – he even gave away his inheritance from his parents to those who were in need. He would put coins, nuts and more in the shoes of the needy and that is where the tradition of children putting their shoes out on St. Nicholas eve came about.
My parents always celebrated with us this holiday and taught us about the “real Santa Claus”. Every year we would put our shoes out and in the morning there would be nuts, a tangerine, rice and flour plus a small present for each of us – it’s a fun, magical tradition and it made us feel special to know about this other, more authentic Santa Claus that existed long ago.
You can read here the history of this special saint and see how he inspired our modern day Santa. Hint: it mostly has to do with everyone’s favorite Christmas poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas – (Remember, “I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick”)
And to everyone, no matter what your religion, I want to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!