Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s… just about everyone is familiar with holidays like these – and the fun traditions that go along with them. But, there’s a lot more to “the holidays” than you might think. In this post, we’ll explore the history and traditions of one of the lesser-known holidays, Saint Nicholas Day.

Stay with us and you’ll learn:

  • The history of St. Nick’s Day
  • The Santa Claus connection
  • How to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day

History of Saint Nicholas Day

Saint Nicholas Day is an annual celebration honoring the life of a 4th-century saint who was known for giving secret gifts. But, not the kind of gifts you wrap with fancy paper and put under the tree. According to some versions of the story, St. Nick loved to place coins into people’s shoes on the eve of his celebration day. It may sound silly now, but many believe this tradition is why we still hang stockings over the fireplace on Christmas Eve.

St. Nick and the Santa Claus Connection

Due to his generous gift-giving spirit, Saint Nicholas eventually came to be known as the man in red himself. Yup, Santa Claus! But let’s look a little bit deeper. Santa’s modern name actually comes from the Dutch name, “Sinterklass.” And, this name was itself derived from a variation of the name “Saint Nikolaos.” So there you have it – Santa Claus is more than just a story!

Sweet Ways to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day

Alright, enough history. Let’s talk about how you can celebrate Saint Nicholas Day with your kids. The most common way to celebrate this holiday in the United States is very simple. Here’s what to do:

  • On the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, December 5th, tell your children the story of St. Nick and his tradition of putting gifts inside people’s shoes.
  • Just before bedtime, place your child’s shoes outside the bedroom door.
  • While your kids are sleeping, fill their footwear – not with coins – but with yummy chocolate, tasty treats or other small trinkets!

When the kids wake up the next day, they’ll be delighted to see all the delicious goodies left for them by old St. Nick.

Pick Up Your Treats from Malley’s – in the Nick of Time!

Saint Nicholas Day is December 6th, so hurry to a Malley’s Chocolates location near you to find the perfect gifts for your little ones! Or, shop online now and start crossing off the remaining names on your “nice” list.