adapted from Marianne Schmid's account of St. Nicholas visiting Waldorf Kinderhaus, in Bochum-Hamme, Germany
Our Nicholas wears a bishop's miter, white garment, blue cape and carries a golden staff.
The Nicholas Festival is one of the ways we guide young children in good ways to live. St. Nicholas was a 4th century bishop in Lycia, who cared about people in need, especially children. His whole life demonstrated love and care for others.
Early in the day on December 6th we get ready by covering the storytelling chair with a blue cloth and decorate it with golden stars to be special for Nicholas. The children also have made paintings to give him and they are rolled up and tied with gold ribbons.
When everything is ready we sit in a story circle. The children are happy and excited, wondering if St. Nicholas will find us again this year. So he will know e are here, we sing Nicholas songs as we wait. There is a loud pounding on the door. We open it and St. Nicholas is here! We welcome him and he sits down in the decorated chair to tell his story. After the story, each child goes to St. Nicholas and gives him a painting.
As he leaves, St. Nicholas says, "My servant put my bag of good things outside the door. Good-bye until next year."
We wait while St. Nicholas steps fade away. Then two children bring in the bag. On a large cloth in the center of the circle the bag is carefully opened. The teacher looks inside and takes out a gold foil-wrapped gift. One of the children takes out the gifts, spreading them on the cloth.
Apples, oranges and nuts pour out. Each child may put an apple, an orange, and some nuts in a small red bag. Then we have a festive breakfast with honey cakes, Speculatius and nuts. The childen put their little red pouches into a large basket in the center of the circle.Following an hour of oudoor free play the children gather in a circle again to hear a St. Nicholas story. Then they are dismissed with their little red Nicholas bags with images of the beautiful visit from St.Nicholas in their heads.
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Adapted from Marianne Schmid's account of St. Nicholas visiting Waldorf Kinderhaus in Bochum-Hamme, Germany. Permission pending.