Friday, 22 January 2016

St. Nicholas, 5 December




I am very late with writing this blog post, but better late than never.
We are educating our children at home in the Waldorf tradition. This is one of the reasons why we celebrate St. Nicholas in our home. As I am Dutch, this only adds to wanting to celebrate it. We celebrate it in a traditional way. 

I always decorate the Nature Table in the theme as you can see above. I have made several of the decorations myself with wool, felt and silk. I still have several others to make. I have the kits for it, but this is a slow process, due to priorities being as they are.

When we celebrate it we keep an eye on when the arrival of St. Nicholas is in The Netherlands. From then onwards I let the children put their shoe out to get a little gift in them, which is a nice pencil, bit of chocolate, some bees wax, a pretty gem stone, crafting yarn, wool roving or so.

On the last day of November when they put out their shoes they know that the advent calendar will be in there the next morning, I love giving the advent calendar on that day.

On the day itself we always have the traditional Dutch Pea Soup for dinner, this we eat together with sourdough rye bread. It is just the way I grew up, so I still do that. During the weeks before I have done my St. Nicholas baking, so I have made kruidnootjes, pepernoten, speculatius, filled speculatius, taaitaai, banketstaaf and such. These we have already had since I started baking, but I like to make sure that we have enough for the day itself.

In the evening we receive a letter from St. Nicholas. In this letter he explains that his helpers have put the gifts for all the family members in various places on our home and that the children can search for them. 
The gifts are useful gifts and things they really like. I always make sure that we stay in budget as I am of the opinion that it is all in good fun and should not cost a lot of money. 

The children love it when I read out the hints on where the gifts are and to go out a find them. We do this one by one so that everyone gets to see what everyone gets. Once all gifts have been unpacked we have hot chocolate with whipped cream and some of the baked goods. Usually we have some left overs of that for a couple of more days.