Celebrating St. Nicholas Day – Our Traditions

Can you believe St. Nicholas Day is just around the corner?! December 6 really snuck up on me this year. The biggest Catholic tradition on St. Nicholas day is to put your shoes outside the night before and in the morning, they’re filled with yummy treats! This would traditionally include chocolate coins (of which I already got some for my kids off the Target dollar spot this year. You can also get them at the Dollar Tree). I posted about St. Nicholas day shoe stuffing ideas last year.

Shoe with chocolate gold coins in it

My Favorite St. Nicholas Day Tradition
In my family growing up, we always decorated our tree on St. Nicholas Day. We put our shoes out on the porch before we start, and by the time we’re finished St. Nicholas has mysteriously filled our shoes with candy! He also always brings a Christmas ornament for the tree that is some kind of reminder for the year (for example, if we went to the beach on vacation as a family that year we might all get sand castle ornaments). We write the year on our ornament and use put it on the tree. By the time I moved out, I was ready to decorate a small Christmas tree of my own! Each of my ornaments holds a beautiful memory. I have continued this tradition with my children, and I like to make the ornaments myself when I have the time. Here’s one I made last year:

In our home, even the unborn gets a Christmas ornament!
I have made several of these pro-life “expecting ornaments”
in the past. I write the due date month on the tag.
Ornament of a gift box with a baby inside reading "open in March"
Due to multiple requests, I posted a short tutorial on
how to make this ornament on my facebook page.

The chocolate Santa turned St. Nicholas has definitely turned into a tradition at our house! You can find directions on how to make your own here. 

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turn chocolate santas into st. nicholas
We’re starting a new St. Nicholas Day tradition here this year, too! Watching the CCC movie- Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa. You can see my review of the movie here. I’m also hoping to get Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving. *Updated to Say* We watched this on Netflix instant play and I thought it was really cute!
Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving

We also rarely let a year go by where we don’t make a St. Nicholas day craft! Check out all of my St. Nicholas Day craft ideas here. 


  1. welcome to our wonderland says

    cute!!! we place the shoes out the night before st nicholas day since that is how all do it our church.

    we spend about 5 for each child they get a small something like a book, or this year a lil kinz

    when we lived in germany we got chocolate, cookies and a small wooden toy

  2. Here in Belgium too they have the tradition on December 5th.
    Here they keep a carrot too 🙂
    When our daughter was little it was so fun we used to buy toys etc… and hide them and on 5th night we arranged all teh toys, chocolateetc… on the table and every where in the room and then put chocolate coins from her bedroom door to the living, so she used to get up in the morning and seeing the coins there on the floor she used to shout mama, papa he came he cma and she rushed to the living and then it was quiet as she saw the toys etc….

  3. Love these!!! We did a puppet last year and my kids adored hearing the story through the puppet!

    I think the prayer card will be a great addition this year! Thanks!

  4. Just so you know, the Veggie Tales St. Nicholas is available for Instant Viewing on Netflix. I haven't watched it yet, but if you have Netflix, you don't need to buy it!

  5. I created a word processing document that prints a prayer on the back of the holy cards. I posted it on my blog but for some reason SCRIBD didn't do it right so I can email it to anyone who is interested. My address is: scrugglennamp at aol dot com

  6. I would love to know how you did your ornament for the unborn! I have a friend due with her first and I would love to have one for her. I can pay you if you make it…it is too cute!

  7. I just saw the chocolate Santa-turned-St. Nick at the St. Nicholas Center site and immediately thought it was something you'd like, Lacy, and then I find this post! 🙂

    I also like the expecting ornament. Great idea!

  8. In our family, one of the most important aspects of St. Nicholas day is one that hasn't been mentioned here yet. That is giving ourselves. We always receive two gifts (one in each shoe, typically one candy item and one small non-candy item). One item is to keep and the other is to give away.

    My grandma continued this tradition for me all through college, always sending me a package with gifts (freshman year she sent enough for me and all my roommates to have one to keep and to give away) and photocopies of the story of St. Nicholas for each of us. I always looked forward to her package in the mail in December!

  9. Sou do Brasil e estou encantada por encontrar seu blog, minha família é católica e fazemos parte da liturdia em nossa igreija. Deus abençoe sua vida!

  10. I <3 the St. Nicholas Center. I was ecstatic when I found out about it last year. I grew up in Switzerland where Christmas was all about the baby Jesus and Dec. 6th was about St. Nicholas. We got a visit from St. Nicholas and his 2 "schmutzlis" – men with wips for the bad kids – and St. Nicholas gave us a bag with clementines, chocolates, and assorted nuts. Now in America with our children, we put the stockings out on Dec. 5th and St. Nicholas fills them with the same goodies I received as a child. We will do St. Nicholas related crafts and activities on his Feast day.

  11. I love the "expecting" ornament and plan on making it for my brother and sister in law (due in Feb)

    We also put our shoes out on Dec 5th evening. One shoe is filled with chocolate and small treats. The other shoe contains a note from St. Nicholas. It tells us what we are doing right and also what we might need to work on, especially during Advent,to better ourselves.

  12. Love the Pro-Life Expecting ornament. We are in the process of making one right now and I was wondering how thick you rolled out the sculptey and what is the approximate dimension for the box you cut out?

  13. I love the St. Nicholas Center, having just discovered it when I was researching for a post on my blog! These are some really great ideas, Lacy!