Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Feast of St. Nicholas, Catholic Bishop

With all the pre-Christmas "christmas" hype, it's really easy for our children to loose focus on what really matters during this season of Advent as we prepare for the coming of Christ as a baby.  Just yesterday in the van, one of our children asked, "so how is it that Santa is going to bring us gifts this year if our fireplace is blocked off?"  (Our fireplace isn't in working order so we have it blocked off, actually it's been blocked off for some time know but I guess now it's when our five year old is able to verbalize this - makes me wonder how long she's been thinking about this?).  Although, we do not celebrate nor promote the secular version of St. Nick, it's hard for our kids not to be drawn to that version instead of the real one because of all the things around them.  They have been bombarded for the past two weeks with everything Christmas, at stores and on the TV.  While I must tell you that I grew up with the jolly old fella, I want my children to have a more authentic version of the saint.  I want them to learn the truth of who St. Nick really was.

Could the REAL St. Nicholas stand up?
This is why I SO love that the feast of Saint Nicholas is on the 6th of December!  It gives me the opportunity to take my "secret weapon" in battle for my children's souls from secularism....it's a simple weapon really and a lovely one at that, a book.  Yes, a little book I picked up at the Daughters of Saint Paul Bookstore when my eldest was around five.  It is called the True Story of Santa Claus, written and illustrated by Paul Prokop (Publisher: Pauline Books & Media (August 1, 2000).

I love the way this book explains why the focus should be on the birth of Christ and not what our world makes of Christmas.  It's the perfect little book to bring the children back to focus on the real and important facts about this time of year.

In addition to reading this book we also watch the CCC of America DVD, Nicholas, the Boy Who Became Santa.

"Nicholas was still a young child when he discovered a very special secret that changed his life forever. It was the gift of giving, by which he brought happiness to many people; but in sharing this gift Nicholas had to face many dangers.

Here is the fascinating story of the boy whose love and care for others make him one of the most popular figures of all times, Today, more than sixteen centuries later, the entire world celebrates the kindness and generosity of the man we call Santa Claus.

Base on historical facts and traditions, Nicholas The Boy Who Became Santa, is the beautifully animated film worth watching all year long."

Celebrating the Real Saint Nick Resources:

1.  Printable Story found at the Saint Nicholas Center website.
2.  Write a letter to the Christ Child on the Feast of Saint Nick instead of a letter to Santa. (the letter is found on page 3 of my Advent packet, which is free)
3.  The Life and Miracles of St. Nicholas: The Wonder Worker (online podcast)
4.  Tons of Ideas for Celebrating St. Nicholas at the Saint Nicholas Center
5.  St. Nicholas DVDs & Videos at the Saint Nicholas Center
6. St. Nicholas Hymns & Songs
7.  Holy Cards
8.  How to Draw St, Nicholas
9.  St. Nicholas Clip Art
10. Ready-to-Print Handouts

The Blessing of Saint Nicholas:  In the Spirit of Nicholas, beloved Bishop and Saint: I bid you now go forth in peace, remember the poor, be kindly affectioned one to the other; these three things I pray be granted unto us this day, and always, and in all ways. Amen.

Mama Erika


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