For so many of you poor people out there, you have never experienced the childhood angst of Saint Nicholas Day. Having grown up where I did (spoiler alert! I grew up in one of the states where Saint Nicholas Day is heavily celebrated…. in certain areas), and having gone to Catholic Grade School, unbeknownst to me, my parents were in a competition.
There are plenty of you out there who are scratching your heads wondering what in tarnation I’m talking about.
I’m pretty certain that this competition was unknown to my parents as well, for you see, it appeared to me that I was going to school with a lot of kids whose parents had disposable income. I remember going to school with dread on St. Nicholas’ Day, the schoolmates bragging about the new bicycles and keyboards, Cabbage Patch Dolls (which, let the record show I NEVER wanted because they were “butt-ugly”, but I knew they were expensive) and new gaming systems. I got candy and an ornament, maybe a small toy, a cassette tape, etc.
I always felt that these large gifts my classmates received were “against the rules”. They didn’t fit into the stocking (or shoe). They were extravagant in my mind. Admittedly, I was a bit jealous at the time, but also repulsed on a level. Repulsed you ask? Yes, because these kids rarely appreciated their gifts. I’d hear them a day or two later complaining about how it wasn’t the one they wanted, it was the wrong color, they wanted what so-and-so got. Selfish, unappreciative little SOBs.
I’m not complaining. While I didn’t fully appreciate the small things I received then, I do now. I’ve also garnered a new appreciation for gift-giving. I like to give away tasty treats, and friends and family often go “shopping” down in the basement amongst the shelves of preserved items (jams, jellies, chutneys, etc.). I like to bake goodies and give them away (mostly because if it’s not here, I won’t eat it). I like to see people smile and be happy. If they share what I give them with others, so much the better. The best part of this is, the pleasure I get from giving away these things is returned three-fold (at least).
I know that I don’t have to give away gifts, but that’s part of the fun. Perhaps that is why Saint Nicholas gave away coins to the poor. He didn’t have to, but he wanted to. So for those who celebrate Saint Nicholas Day, I hope your stockings (or shoes) are filled with wonderful things. Those of you who do not celebrate Saint Nicholas Day, you’re missing out on a fun tradition, but I hope you DO find a pleasant surprise tomorrow in some form.
Highlights from the weekend:
- DH is attempting to reuse/recycle wine bottles… Pendant lights and drinking glasses!
- DH finished the top of the pergola over the outdoor kitchen (he’s very handy).
- Snickerdoodles and shortbread have been baked, and more cookie recipes laid out for the baking.
- Two more mice caught and removed from the house, and the chickens are happily laying eggs. HOORAY!