Celebrating St.Nicholas Day

While I spend some extra time snuggling the new little one, I invited Kayla from Baby Devotions to share some fun ideas and activities to enjoy with your kids this holiday season. Be sure to visit her website or say hello to her on Instagram. She shares so many intentional and simple activities to do with your kids to teach them about Jesus, kindness, and the world around us :)


December 6th is St. Nicholas’ Day and has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially among families that have fond memories of Santa Clause, but feel conflicted, wanting to keep Christ the center of Christmas. For those that are unfamiliar with the tradition, allow me to introduce you and share a few ways to celebrate.

What is St. Nicholas’ Day?

St. Nicholas Day is the day celebrating the man that is most commonly known as Santa, or maybe I should say the man who Santa is based off of. St. Nicholas was a man that lived in Turkey around 300 AD. He was known for his good works, charity, and kindness that flowed from the love God had given to him. Often his good works were done in secret, when no one is watching. St. Nicholas Day is to remember his example of tangibly showing God's love to others.

Ways to Celebrate

There are several ways I have seen this day celebrated, and I am sure there are many more ways you could celebrate. But here are some ways you could use this day to let Santa build your family's faith.

  1. Fill Shoes-- Traditionally, this holiday is celebrated by leaving their shoes out before bedtime on December 5th. While the children are asleep, parents fill the shoes with candies, oranges, and small toys (much like you would fill a Christmas stocking). The first time I saw this day celebrated, my friends bought new slippers for all their children, and filled them up, placing them next to the Christmas tree for their littles.

  2. Have Santa Come Early-- Other friends I know choose to just have Santa come early. Instead of saving all the presents until December 25th, they have Santa come on December 6th so that Christmas Day will be reserved meditating on Christ and his birth.

  3. Secret Santa-- Choose a friend or neighbor to secretly bless as a family. This may mean leaving a basket of goodies on their porch and ding-dong-ditching them. This could mean shoveling their sidewalk before they have a chance. Pay for the meal behind you when you are going through the drive-thru. What other ways can you think of secretly blessing someone?

  4. Learn About St. Nicholas-- Finally, in our family, we simply take some time to learn about St. Nicholas’ life. Shining a light on the real St. Nicholas, and the fact that he is an example of how we can show love to others can help avoid confusion about what Santa has to do with Jesus. This year we are watching Veggietales: St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving and reading the Veggietales book by the same name. Other good resources are (ps. some of these are affiliate links*)

-The (Wonderful) Truth About Santa* by Jessica Jansen.

-St. Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend* by Julie Stiegemeyer

-St. Nicholas: The Real Story on Amazon Prime Video

Do you celebrate St. Nicholas Day in your family? What other ways can you think of to celebrate?

ps. Thanks for sharing Kayla! I think we may introduce a few St.Nick activities to our holiday season this year :) How about you?