Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sweet Serendipity on Saint Nicholas Day

Not my lunch room, but you get the idea!
Yesterday at work, part of my lunch room became transformed. A cozy round rug covered the cool tile. Colored lights twinkled on a slim Christmas tree. Beside the tree sat a comfy rocking chair.

Before long the pre-kindergartners left their coats and shoes lined up in the hall and gathered on the rug for a story to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. 

I was in the middle of baking for lunch, adding the warm, sweet aroma of peach muffins to the homey atmosphere. But between turning the pans and checking the muffins, I listened to a story of Saint Nicholas. Our storyteller had a wonderful voice, keeping the kids, and me, enthralled and engaged in the story. It's a difficult task to keep that many four and five year olds quiet and listening. This is the book he read, one I recommend adding to your holiday. 

Here's the blurb from the cover flap: As parents and grandparents, we know that timeless tales generate endless questions about our holiday traditions, such as "Where did Saint Nicholas come from?" "How does he visit so many children in just one night?" "Why does he leave gifts for girls and boys?" Nicholas could not use his legs, so the children in his village did not play with him. He became skilled with his hands, and decided to fix as many broken and unwanted toys and dolls as he could. He would then anonymously give them to village children on their birthdays. Nicholas had a very unselfish wish. After delivering a special gift to a little girl on the other side of the mountain, Nicholas became lost in a terrible storm. His selfless act of love was witnessed by angels, and his wish was granted, affecting the world forever.

And the best part of the day? While the story was being read, Saint Nicholas left small bags of goodies in all the kids' shoes!

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