adapted from Edward Hays' "The Pay-less Shoe Gift Shop" by Brian Cavanaugh
"It is fitting that the feast of St. Nicholas comes at the beginning of Advent and the beginning of the shopper's season. As the patron saint of shoppers he proclaims, ‘Keep it simple!' Keep it simple enough to fit in a shoe or a stocking.
One gift that could fit in a . . . shoe, or in a stocking hanging on the fireplace, is a note that speaks of one of our most precious gifts, the gift of time. Such a St. Nicholas note might read: ‘The gift I give to you is half an hour of quality conversation each night right after the dishes are done.' Or, ‘The gift I give to you is one Saturday a month to be with you and do whatever you want to do.' We can appreciate the value of such a gift if we keep in mind that according to a recent survey, the average married couple in America has only 30 minutes a week of communication outside of exchanges that take place at the dinner table, and between parent and child is only 14 minutes. As you can see, the possibilities are almost unlimited for these St. Nicholas shoe gifts.
Come, St. Nicholas, patron of shoppers and gift-seekers, and make Christmas this year fun, creative and love-filled."
A St. Nicholas Note is from Edward Hays's
The Pay-less Shoe Gift Shop & Hobbit Gifts
By Edward Hays, from A Pilgrim's Almanac: Reflections for Each Day of the Year, Forest of Peace Publishing, 1989, copyright © Edward M. Hays, pages 190,191. Used by permission. Purchase from amazon.com, amazon.ca or amazon.uk.