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St.Nicholas Day

December 6, 2009

The sixth of December is the Feast of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. With the pressure building from Hallowe’en onwards to get Christmassy, I always think that this day best marks the beginning of the Christmas season, the day to bow to the inevitable and start decorating the house, beginning with early Christmas cards from friends.

Gradually over the next three weeks we will add everything else: candles in silvered glass holders on top of the piano; paper chains made by the children to string from the ceiling; a little Christmas tree in the playroom, decorated by the boys; old glass baubles hung from the antlers in the front hall; wreaths made of garden greenery and berries on the front doors; armfuls of holly and fir strewn around the house; and finally a huge tree, cut from the estate, in the drawing room. The big tree is decorated by the grown-ups after the boys are in bed, just a few days before Christmas. When it is done, we turn off all the lights except for the ones on the tree and bring in the children in their pyjamas to see it. I must say that the look on their faces as they gaze up at the starry tree is one of my favourite sights of the year.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2012 5:00 pm

    I love your staged approach to Christmas decorating, DB. As you know from my last post I’m an Advent purist 🙂 who leaves the decorating until just before Christmas, but I too would be very happy with this gradual approach with young children, teaching them patience and an appreciation of small things one by one.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      December 5, 2012 11:22 pm

      I wish I had your self-control! But I cannot bring myself to deny the family the building anticipation of Christmas. Another favourite moment: last thing before the children go up to bed on Christmas Eve, we bring them to the crib which has appeared in the front hall and we all sing ‘Away in a Manger’ very softly to the baby Jesus. I hope that these are the memories which will warm them in adulthood.

      • December 6, 2012 6:01 pm

        I wasn’t a purist when the children were small, DB, though even then we held back on the big decorations until just before Christmas. But like you we had small things appearing as Advent went on and we always kept all the decorations up until Epiphany.


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