Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas, the original bishop from Holland, who has morphed into Santa Claus.
In my childhood we celebrated Christmas, but maintained the custom from our Dutch heritage and also celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas when we put our shoes outside to be filled with a gift from the saintly bishop.
My sister has just shared with me her efforts to spread this lovely tradition further afield. Years ago she and her husband were friends with a family with 3 children, and they encouraged them to let them start the St. Nicholas tradition. My sister surreptitiously asked each of the children what they wanted St. Nicholas to bring them.and received a request for a baton, and chocolate chip cookies. Jason, the youngest, said he hoped St. Nicholas would bring him a loaf of banana bread like the ones my sister makes. So the night of December 5, she and her husband went over to the house and after the kids were in bed, left the treats in their waiting shoes.
The next morning, Jason asked his mother why St. Nicholas brought him a meat loaf.
And do you know what? My said sister still doesn’t label the food she puts into her freezer.