Celebrating St. Nick
By Ana Borden
The fondest memory I have of grade school occurred a few decades ago on Dec. 6, St. Nicholas’ feast day.
I recall my teacher announcing that they could hear St. Nick arrive and that we should put our heads down on our desk, cover our ears and eyes and be very, very quiet.
We were asked to take off our shoes, perhaps reflecting the Dutch’s tradition on his feast day and place them on the side of our desk.
As soon as the classroom lights were out, we could hear muzzled noises, and my imagination ran wild thinking of a white bearded older man, dressed in clerical dressings while climbing through our classroom window and leaving us a candy cane.
Following the death of his parents at a young age, St. Nicholas used his inheritance to help those in need and suffering. He was an extraordinary follower of Christ and later became a bishop. He loved children and stories of protecting them emerged after his death; he is the patron saint of children.
Today, my children also get the experience of celebrating and enjoying St. Nick’s generosity.
On the eve of Dec. 6, I remind our children to leave their shoes by their bed, and we pray the following prayer for their protection. St. Nick leaves the children a new pair of shoes or a small treat that fits in their shoe.
A Prayer for Children
“God, we pray that through the
intercessions of St. Nicholas
you will guide and protect our children.
Keep them safe from all harm
and help them grow to become
loving disciples of Jesus in your sight.
Give them strength to always mature
into deeper faith in you and to keep alive joy in your creation.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.”