How To Celebrate St. Nicholas Day; Ideas, Printables, and More!

Many Catholic children around the world celebrate Saint Nicholas day! In the story of St. Nicholas, it is said that there were three poor girls that could not get married because they had no dowry, and St. Nicholas came and secretly left gold for all 3 girls at night in their shoes, which were drying by the fireplace. So the tradition of leaving out shoes to be filled with gifts was born of a generous stranger leaving secret presents for those in need. There are many ways to celebrate the feast day of St. Nicholas, and it is a tradition treasured by many Catholic families, including my own! 🙂 So here are some ides for celebrating this beautiful feast day with your family! Also, you can find all of my resources for Catholic families during Advent here.

St. Nicholas Day Shoe Stuffing Guide

You do not want to miss my post with all the ideas for what to put in those shoes! Be sure to click over to my St. Nicholas day gift guide. This post includes St. Nicholas day books and movies as well! 

Santa To St. Nick Transformation

Turning whatever Santa stuff you find into St. Nicholas- find the directions to do so here! This is a St. Nicholas day classic and not to be overlooked. 🙂

Also, check out how to make Santa shaped little debbie cakes into St. Nick here!

St. Nicholas Day Activity: Letter To The Christ Child

You can have each child write a letter to the Christ Child to leave in their shoes when you set them out. Write what sacrifices and good deeds you are going to do during Advent to prepare for His coming, and how much you are anticipating His arrival!  Leave the letter (called a “Christkindl Brief”) in your shoe, along with a carrot for St. Nicholas’ horse.  In the morning, the letter and carrot are gone, and treats are in their place!  😉 St. Nicholas can then deliver the letter to the Christ Child for you! 

This is a printable template for a letter to the Christ Child available in The Advent Christmas Planner.

This is a printable template for a letter to the Christ Child available in The Advent Christmas Planner.

St. Nicholas Day Printable Crafts

St. Nicholas can also leave craft supplies in the shoes for the child to complete on St. Nicholas day! My older kids are going to find the printable St. Nichols ornaments from my Advent Saints set in their shoes this year. 🙂

saint nicholas craft

And I now have an entire set of printable Advent Saint peg dolls! You just follow my step by step directions to paint the heads, and you decoupage the rest! Even St. Nick’s hat decoupages on so you don’t have to paint that either. St. Nicholas is wearing little green mittens on the peg doll, which means you can paint your own peg with any skin tone that you wish for St. Nick! This is useful because this Saint is celebrated across so many cultures, and his story originates in Turkey.

My preschool girls are going to find the toilet paper tube St. Nicholas in their shoes to assemble- he’s from my Alphabet Saint collection. You can find all of my St. Nicholas crafts here.

printable saint nicholas craft

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My new Holidays In Handprints ebook also has a St. Nicholas page that includes his story and a handprint craft, so we may do that as well! Putting together this Christmas treasury with your kid’s handprints as the illustrations becomes a keepsake that you will treasure to years to come! I highly suggest you check it out! 

St. Nicholas Day Books

The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale– This is a pretty cute book- I love the illustrations! You can get it on the Kindle for just .99 cents, so that makes is a great option for the thrifty or the last minute planner.

The St. Nicholas Book: A Celebration Of Christmas Past– this is another one that we have and enjoy. It’s a quaint St. Nicholas treasury that includes many short stories, poems, etc from different authors.

Santa’s Favorite Story- basically a book where Santa tells the story of baby Jesus. Very cute.

books for st

St. Nicholas Day Movies

We also watch the CCC movie- Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa. You can see my review of the movie here. We also watch Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, which is pretty cute and the kids love it.

A lot of this post is straight from The Advent Christmas Planner. It’s not too late to start planning your Advent! Read about the planner by clicking the picture below. Check out all of my ideas for celebrating the true meaning of the season here. 

Recipes For St. Nicholas Day

We love to make these candy cane cookies for the feast of St. Nicholas! Did you know the candy cane is in the shape of a bishop’s crozier (aka, shepherd’s staff) and in his trademark colors. So perfect, and I love how this recipe is actually peppermint flavored and topped with real candy canes!

Another recipe that’s great for this feast day are these chocolate cherry cookies! They also have St. Nick’s colors, and they’re absolutely delicious.

You can find all of my Advent and Christmas resources for families here.

The Advent Christmas Planner- available from Catholic Icing


  1. Thanks, Lacy! I am using your Advent planner this year, and love it. Just got the Baker’s Dozen Kindle book to read tomorrow – great idea 🙂

  2. Sr Paschalina Marie says

    I wish you a blessed feast of St. Nicholas! A wonderful priest friend of ours, Fr. Joseph Marquis, and co-ordinator of the St. Nicholas Institute, has just released a lovely DVD called: Saint to Santa: How St. Nicholas became Santa Claus. It is being distributed by Pauline Books and Media and is directed to children from ages 3-9. I can’t wait to share it my Religious Ed children! You can find out more about it here: There is a preview here:
    May the Lord continue to pour out His blessings upon you, Lacy, and on your family! We love Catholic Icing!

  3. Katie McDonald says

    I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I’m a convert to Catholicism and your blog has given me lots of ideas to share my faith with my 11 and 12 year old children who are a different faith. I’m learning so much from your blog and traditions that you share are one of the things that I love about Catholicism.

  4. Another great book I think you’d enjoy is The Kneeling Santa story! Thanks for sharing all your great ideas.

  5. vanessa reneau says

    I do not recommend Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving. It is protestant.
    The Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa; does a better job at explaining the St. Nicholas story with a catholic flavor.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing all of your brilliant ideas.

  7. Thank you for sharing all this recipes, this is a big help for me to prepare desserts for this upcoming Christmas!