One of my main quests over the last few years has been to discover when different Church practices - both doctrine and tradition - came into being. I love to study Christian history. I have found that this history is a very true example of "the victor writes the history books". It constantly amazes me how the same events can have different meanings, depending on who is doing the writing, and from what perspective.
Anyway, back to St. Nicholas. An excellent book for children is
Saint Nicholas, The Real Story of the Christmas Legend:
This book was given to my boys several years ago by my friend Anita, and it is one that we have read over and over.
Today we will read this book again, I have printed some excellent coloring pages from a great website The Saint Nicholas Center . This is a very helpful website, with links to other sites, activities, recipes, etc.
I have also done the really fun part - last night I stuffed the stockings! This morning they will find gold coins, to represent St. Nicholas' generosity to the poor, gingerbread cookies (legend has it that he was quite a baker of gingerbread and fruitcakes), a Christmas ornament for the tree, and a couple little candies just for fun. Hopefully, I can keep this fun, as opposed to taking something fun and turning it into "school"!
So, Happy St. Nicholas Day, and blessings to your family today!