It came to my attention some years ago when talking to a friend that not everyone knows about or celebrates St. Nick’s Day. I remember being in the Boston Store offices, mouth agape saying “You don’t know what St. Nick’s Day is?” in the most incredulous tone I could muster. Turns out this little tradition is a bit more Wisconsin than I thought.
For you newbies, St. Nicholas Day is December 6. If you went to Catholic school like I did, you learned about St. Nick himself and how he’d leave coins in shoes for the needy. Something like that. It’s been a while. But either way, this story translated into old timey children leaving their shoes out and having them be filled with fruits and candies every December 6. And that translated into stockings which got filled with treats for kids like me in the Midwest.
And growing up, St. Nick’s was a big deal. Like really big. My mom imposed a fairly strict no gifts after Thansgiving policy growing up – meaning if I saw a Puppy in My Pocket in the checkout line, I couldn’t get it, and no matter how much I begged, I wouldn’t be seeing that new Littlest Pet Shop until December (I was really into small toy animals). When the Advent calendar went up on December 1 (the same calendar I have today #traditions), it seemed like an eternity to December 6 and some sort of new trinket. But when St. Nick’s Day finally came it was a day to rejoice. Extra bubblegum (every year, even though my mom hates gum)! Reese’s peanut butter cups in a candy cane! Marshmallow Santas! A Looney Toons nightshirt! YES!
This tradition is something I still celebrate today even though I’m 27-years-old. Michael and the cats all get a stocking and we open them up in the morning. It’s great! So many treats! So many surprises! This year was a particularly good year – Michael got the Beach Boys Christmas album and I got an ice cream sandwich ornament. Big wins.
And before you even ask, no, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day stockings are not a thing. Why would you get extra presents in a giant sock when you already have gifts under a tree? Consolidate or get a jump and put that stuff out 19 days earlier. Geez.