Day #11: Leave your shoes out for St. Nick! December 6th is the feast day of the saint, St. Nicholas. My ancestors are of Scandinavian descent so every Christmas when I was growing up, we had a fun tradition that none of my friends celebrated. On the eve of December 5th we shined our best Sunday shoes and put them by the front door with our Christmas list tucked inside. When we woke up the next morning St. Nicholas had taken our Christmas list and left us a few treats and surprises in our shoes. My kids love this as well and remind me about it every year. Do you celebrate this tradition?

leave your shoes out for st. nick

Photo by Nicole Hill Gerulat.

17 Comments

  1. I do! I am German and my brother and I used to do the same thing as kids. And my mother even still sends us little presents for Nikolaus now!

    Annika    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  2. Here in Belgium (Flanders) and in the Netherlands we do celebrate Sinterklaas (Sint Nicolas). He brings presents for the children who behaved good the last year. In my house, Santa Claus (see the similarity with Sinter-klaas?)doesn’t come. We have our presents on the 6th of december. On Christmas they only receive a small present from us.

    Maaike    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  3. I am Ukrainian and we are form believers of St. Nicholas in our home as well!

    Areta May    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  4. My mom still gives us St. Nick presents, but since we live over 300 miles away, she usually brings it in advance and stashed it on a bookcase or such. Not exactly the same lore as the large stocking left on our bedroom doors when we were kids (we didn’t “do” Santa in our house), but very thoughtful of her nonetheless!

    We’ll probably start St. Nick next year w our girls, they’re just 2 this year.

    Kate    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  5. We sure do! We learned about it through our Catholic traditions.

    Alisa    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  6. We are German and we do this. I’ve passed the tradition down to my boys. My youngest son is born on St. Nickolaus day and so he gets a double treat when he wakes up!

    Nicole M.    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  7. My mother is german so we did celebrate this tradition when I was a child and I will continue this with my children

    Sherry S.    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  8. Our family doesn’t do this, but I remember researching Christmas around the world in 5th grade and we did a play at a children’s hospital about Sinterklaas and German traditions. I’m now 36 years old with 2 kids of my own, so apparently it left quite an impression on me! I always have room in my heart for new traditions. :)

    Lisa Frank    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  9. I’m from the Netherlands and here the party of St Nick is a whole party on its own, with the finale on the 5th. Sinterklaas visits our house and leaves a whole stash of presents in a bag at our door. In the weeks leading up to this, the kids leave there shoes at the fireplace a few times and receive small gifts and candy.

    Nienuh    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  10. yes! i’m doing it for my little girls now too. my mother is german and it was her childhood tradition.

    christine    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  11. We do this every year with our kids. Brought this tradition with me from Germany, we also let the kids open a present already under the tree on Xmas eve as we get all our presents on the 24th at night in Germany

    Michaela    Thursday, December 1, 2011
  12. Hi everyone!i´m from Spain and we celebrate that tradition here but we left the shoes for “los reyes magos”.
    It is said that when Jesus born in Belén, a star guided three orient kings to Belén and they brought gifts to the little kid.
    so here in Spain the children left their shoes near a chimney or similar. also they left water for the camels and sweets for the kings and the kings left their gifts for the kids.
    In the morning, the kids found the empty dishes and the shoes plenty of presents and it´s so funny.
    I still left my shoes near the window ;)
    P.D. sorry for my english i knowit isn´t very good :)

    María    Friday, December 2, 2011
  13. Tive um noivo holandês, que me falou sobre está tradição. Mas, em minha casa, nunca foi celebrada!!!

    Patrícia    Friday, December 2, 2011
  14. When I was little I went to a catholic school and I remember setting our shoes out in the hallway on this morning and returning to our class room… then we’d wait anxiously for St. Nick’s bell to ring and when we’d return to the hall our shoes would have treats inside.

    My family never celebrated this way at home, but it’s a fond memory of mine of school.

    Beth    Saturday, December 3, 2011
  15. I had not heard this, but I absolutely love it…I will start this with grandchildren..Thanks for sharing.

    diane    Tuesday, December 6, 2011
  16. Yay! My mother is Austrian and used to tell my sister and I about St. Nick leaving small treats and oranges in her shoes. Although we didn’t do the tradition as kids, we now celebrate Sinterklaas with our own children (without the dreaded Krampus!)

    Mrs. Q.    Saturday, December 17, 2011
  17. As we are Swiss, we always celebrate St. Nick. It is a big tradition here. We meet with family and friends in the near forest, where we light a fire. We have a barbeque, while waiting for St. Nick and his helper Schmutzli.In Switzerland it is said that they live in a small hut in the forrest.
    When they finally arrive, the children sing special songs or recite St. Nick’s Poems. In return they get a little bag full of nuts, tangerines and sweets.
    It is a Magic moment, every year.

    Monica    Saturday, November 16, 2013

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fun Christmas Tradition Ideas for Families on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

    [...] you celebrate St. Nick’s Day? It’s a fun one to do in early [...]

  2. Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day | Fulfilling and Oddly Minty on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    [...] One Charming Party describes shining their best Sunday shoes and leaving them out the night of the 5th for St. Nick to fill.  The first time I did this for the boy, we placed a pair of his sneakers on the porch.  When he opened the door the next morning, he gasped in wonder that his shoes were filled with goodies.  His reaction melted my heart, and I was hooked.  [...]

  3. Holiday Traditions » on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    […] you celebrate St. Nick’s Day? It’s a fun one to do in early […]

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