We have celebrated St. Nicholas for a handful of years now, and every year has been magical in its own way. Always every year the kids put out a dish of hay and carrots, and every year the white horse leaves a crazy mess in his haste to gobble the goodies! They find oranges, nuts, and dried fruit in their boots, as well as a scroll of the year's accomplishments.
Last year, e was beginning to understand about Santa, so I tried something different. I asked a friend to have her children set out their shoes, and I prepared scrolls and treats for them, as well. My kids didn't see the prep, but after dark I explained what we were going to 'be St. Nicholas'. They were excited, but the best part was when we arrived home and e wondered aloud who had filled her shoes! She ran to check and I reminded her that St. Nick wouldn't be arriving here until after she was in bed. Even though she knew...she didn't know. :)
So this year, s gets to be St. Nicholas to my kids, and e and E get to be her St. Nicholas. They planned the whole thing, including making her scroll and painting walnuts gold. We threw in some finger puppets, golden dollars, mama and baby oranges, cashews and pistachios, and gold stars. e keeps checking the clock, and the boots and hay are already outside. This is undoubtedly more magical than simply receiving!
The first light of Advent is the light of stones, light that shines in seashells, in crystals, and in bones.
Wishing you a magical season of Advent!