Monday, December 6, 2010

Family Traditions

Each year as my girls get a bit older, I continue to look for ways to carry on my childhood family traditions.  Coming from a family of ten, my mother was truly inspiring in all the thoughtful, beautiful ways she found to bring tradition and celebration into our home.
Celebrating St. Nicholas (also known as Sinterklaas) was one of our family traditions growing up. We looked forward to it almost as much as Christmas. I so clearly remember the sleepy, smiley faces and the high pitched, delight~filled voices as the stockings were opened... I remember doing plays and puppet shows of the St. Nicholas story with the siblings... I remember the St. Nicholas shaped speculaas cookies...
Fond memories.
My husband is dutch, so this tradition (celebrated a little differently) runs deep in his family too.
 This year we thoroughly enjoyed passing on these traditions to our girls ~ I think they enjoyed it too!

Their stockings ~ (finally completed this year!)

 That sleepy smiley face of delight 

A morning play silk dance ~ enjoying her stocking stuffer

Decorating their St. Nicholas shaped cookies

Such handsome fellows

Their puppet version of the St. Nicholas story ~ with wonderful felt puppets made by my mother (from when I was a girl).

We read the story together last night before bed and then took time today to take a deeper look at the example St. Nicholas set in giving generously, anonymously and with love. A wonderful opportunity to teach about the richness in self-less giving and helping the less fortunate ~ in this season and always.

Heres to celebrating family traditions and true gifting from the heart
~ Shanti ~ 


  1. What a wonderful tradition. We just celebrated St. Nickolas day for the first time today and k really enjoyed it. I hope to expand on the holiday has he grows older.

  2. it is all so beautifully done! great stocking and i just love those puppets from your childhood. what a special thing to pass on to your children and hopefully their children too one day...

  3. We celebrated St. Nicholas' Day for the first time this year, too...much more simply than yours (as we raced out the door to school/daycare/work) kindergarten students found that he'd visited our classroom last night too! Imagine their delight! I love it!

  4. our kids always delight in seeing their boots filled with surprises! my favorite part about this year was going to bed last night, I found that Cakie had re-gifted three of her chocolate coins back to us, one for me, one for her daddy and one for baby brother, who still sleeps in our bed. the best part was each came with a little love note to us individually. oh the joy of a giving heart!

  5. St. Nicholas day is one of our favorite celebrations! I truly enjoyed seeing and hearing of your special traditions, your stockings are absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! I look forward to sharing our celebration soon and look forward to showing my littles the cookies your family created! : )

  6. What books can you suggest? We didn't 'do' St. Nicholas growing up and I'm not sure how to explain it to Ella.

  7. Shanti how wonderful that you still have the puppets from when you were little and that you can share this sweet celebration with us. The cookies look delicious. Have a wonderful holiday season. Blessings from the Tropics. xxx

  8. I throughly enjoyed reading this. We do "Samichlaus" (we are Swiss) here as well, and the kids put their boots outside, and they get filled with gingerbread, chocolates, nuts, dried fruit and oranges.
    My dd, age 7 did a presentation about it in her class last week, and all the other kids were envious that she gets "Santa" twice, lol.

  9. Looks like a beautiful way to celebrate the day. Thank you for sharing your traditions with us.

  10. I can't believe those puppets are still around!! And in perfect condition! So cool. And so glad you are carrying on the tradition.

  11. Holiday season traditions are often the things the young ones will cherish and remember the most and sure yours will remember these holiday season traditions for years to come.

  12. Cecelia... what a sweet story about Cakie ~ I can see her doing that. Little love notes are the best!
    Fletchtingtonfarms... here is a link you could check out ~
    Gentle stories in the Waldorf tradition for the days before St. Nicholas Day. Hope that helps.
    Homesteadgirl... what lucky students you have!

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