Thursday, December 6, 2007

St. Nicholas and American Christmas Customs

Immigrants brought cherished St. Nicholas holiday traditions to the United States. Some of them are:

  • Christmas stockings by the fireplace
  • Orange or tangerine in the toe of filled Christmas stockings
  • Candy Canes - All bishops carry staffs, hooked at the top like a shepherd's crook, showing they are the shepherds who care for, or tend, their people.
  • Gift-giving in secret, during the night - Nicholas did his gift giving secretly, under cover of darkness. He didn't want to be seen and recognized as he wanted those he helped to give thanks to God.
  • Seasonal concern for the needy- St. Nicholas gave gifts to those in greatest need—the young and the most vulnerable.

No comments: