Saint Nicholas Day
Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, is celebrated on December 6th during the season of Advent.
On the eve of St Nicholas, children may leave out a freshly polished shoe, with a small snack for St Nicholas and his horse. In return, the simple gesture of a small gift will be left, perhaps a crystal or gem, sweets, nuts, or a mandarin orange.
At the Vancouver Waldorf School Saint Nicholas, and his dear friend Rupert, often visit each classroom. Saint Nicholas reads from ‘His Book of Names’ a personal message of virtue and encouragement for each student. A special treat of a cookie and orange are delivered by Rupert. This is a holiday of great joy.
(Saint Nicholas) is an archetypal figure of heavenly wisdom and is the forerunner of Santa Claus, whose very name is reminiscent of St. Nicholas. Santa Claus, however, is a more earth-bound, incarnated figure who dwells with elves in the North Pole. Though he, too, is full of love for the children, his gifts are more of a material nature, even though he comes on Christmas Eve, a time of profound spiritual giving. One can understand how he arose in our more materialistic, secular age, and one can hold him a positive way for the sake of the children who love him so, but one can also create a place in the Advent season to bring the original, more heavenly St. Nicholas to the children.
An Overview of the Waldorf Kindergarten ~ Joan Almon