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Tomorrow is one of the sweetest days of the year: the feast of beloved St. Nicholas, patron of children and inspiration for Santa Claus!
On this day, lots of Catholic kids wake up to find a little gift hidden in their shoes, perhaps candy, a small toy or book, or the traditional oranges. I like to get chocolate gold coins from ALDI for a memorable connection to the origin of this celebration.
But some years, I’m totally caught by surprise and forget about the feast day until the last minute. If that’s you this year, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
If you’re reading this on Sunday, there’s still time to run out for candy (or use the last of the Halloween candy—no judgement!).
But if it’s late Sunday night or even Monday morning, don’t despair: It’s not too late to celebrate this special feast! Here are a few ways to make this feast feel special with minimal prep.
1Tell your kids about St. Nicholas
The most important part is also the simplest! Share with your children that today celebrates the great patron saint of children and some stories about his life. You can find a short biography to read aloud here. My kids especially love hearing about the time he punched Arius, and sharing the story is a good chance to explain that the saints weren’t perfect but they kept trying to do better, just like we try to do.
Another easy way to share his story is to watch Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa, a movie made just for kids about St. Nicholas’s life. It’s available to stream here for $1.99. If your kids are like mine, they’ll be beyond thrilled to be allowed to watch a movie as a feast-day surprise. But fair warning that you might find yourself crying at the end; the story is so moving!
And don’t forget to pray together for St. Nicholas’s intercession! Here’s a beautiful prayer to say together.
2Do something special together
Celebrating the patron saint of children should be something delightful and special for the kids, right? Pick something fun and easy, like one of the following:
- Make a simple dessert together
- Pick up a fun treat on your way home from school
- Make hot chocolate together
- Watch a favorite movie (like the St. Nicholas one)
- Play a board game together
These crafts and activities are a great springboard for discussion about St. Nicholas and ways that we can all imitate him!