Sunday, December 06, 2015

Day 6...

25 Days


Day 6....
Since today is the Lord's Day, I'm only going to share with you my family's faith and the traditions that surround our faith. 

We are...
Roman Catholics. My husband and I were born and raised in this faith. We both are of German descent. My husband's family is 100% German ~ Both my descendants and Keith descendants are from the southern Germany area known as Bavaria. My family heritage is British on my father's said German/Scot-Irish on my mother's side. I was born and raised in Haubstadt, Indiana while Keith was from Evansville, Indiana (we lived about 15 miles from each other growing up). Anyway, Keith's grandparents (on both sides) spoke German in their homes. My maternal Grandfather could understand German (I knew that) but I didn't know he could speak it until he lay on his deathbed and the parish priest came to give him last rights and he said something in German and my Grandpa opened his eyes and responded in German. Anyway growing up in German Catholic communities both of us grew up celebrating St. Nick Day. 

Here is the story of the German St. Nick Tradition:

In Roman Catholic areas of southern Germany, such as Bavaria, Sankt Nikolaus still comes as a bishop with flowing beard and a bishop's miter and staff. Houses are thoroughly cleaned and children clean and polish their shoes or boots in preparation for the saint's visit. On the evening before St. Nicholas Day, children put letters to the good saint along with carrots or other food for his white horse or donkey on a plate or in their shoes. These are left outside, under the bed, beside a radiator, or on a windowsill in hopes of finding goodies from St. Nicholas the next morning. During the night Sankt Nikolaus goes from house to house carrying a book in which all the children's deeds are written. If they have been good, he fills their plate, shoe or boot with delicious fruits, nuts and candies. If not, they may find potatoes, coal, or twigs.

Now...
We don't leave hay or carrots for St. Nick's horse, but we do write little letters/prayers and put them in our stockings for him to collect and carry to heaven with him. The kids were very excited today when we returned from day break Mass and found that indeed St. Nick had come while we were in church. St. Nick just brings candies and a small gift because the real joy of Christmas is our gift of the Christ child born on Christmas Day. 
St. Nick's Day 2015

I had to laugh....
the small gift that St. Nick left was $10 bill and Ellie thought he didn't leave her one..so when I snapped this picture, she had her arm in the stocking trying to find hers :)

Well there you go....
DAY 6!!

Until tomorrow...
I'll be keeping my hands to work..
my heart to God..
while treating my neighbor with kindness and respect, 
and trying to be the best me I can be.
It's hard, isn't it?
I may stumble and I may fall, but I pick myself up and I remember:
To thine own self be true...
because...
I want to BE the change I want to SEE.
Join me!

Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx

P.S. I've gotten many questions about my client's red wire ornament tree. She got it at Home Goods. She says that there has been a couple of her acquaintances that have found similar ones at Wayfair. If I were you...I'd google wire ornament tree or something similar. 

19 comments:

  1. Our kids have always had their stockings too. My mom still gives me one also. ;)

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  2. Love this lesson as I too am German, many blessings on this day of rest.....

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  3. Vonna, thank you for sharing the German St. Nick tradition with me. I enjoyed reading (and learning) about it. Have a wonderful Sunday!

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  4. Stockings filled with small goodies are the best part of our Christmas morning....well, mimosias too

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  5. Lovely tradition and that picture of Ellie with her hand up the stocking is priceless!

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  6. I love the St. Nicks tradition. But then I love carrying on traditions we had as children. Great memories of good family times.
    That was nice of you to let us know the info on the red tree. I bet there were quite a few inquires.
    Great picture of the kids and their stockings. Ho Ho Ho !!

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  7. A great tradition Vonna. Younger son's Slovakian girlfriend has also been celebrating St Nick's day today.

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  8. I have never known anyone who celebrates this. It seems like a tradition your kids enjoy and will pass down to their families too. We have enjoyed the excitement of our 6 yr old granddaughter and she is enjoying the little traditions that happen at our house.

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  9. We are Roman Catholics (I converted from Church of England after my marriage to a RC) but I've never heard of this lovely tradition! Though we did visit Santa Claus today in his treehouse. I really enjoyed hearing about your family tradition and the photo of Ellie trying to find her gift is brilliant!

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  10. Thank you for sharing your families tradition of St. Nick Day. I have never heard of it.
    DH and I both grew up with having stockings. We open one gift out of our stockings on Christmas Eve.

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  11. I converted to Catholic (from southern Baptist) when I was in college. I started going to church with my roommate (100% Polish Catholic) and just loved everything about it. The traditions are so wonderful. Thank you for sharing your St Nick day.

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  12. I am so grateful that I am able to speak a second language and this is German, I was born there and came to USA when I was 2 1/2.

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  13. My very loved and missed Grandmother Bessie was German--last name Shultz. Many wonderful traditions and foods

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  14. Our family came from Germany too --- Steve's mother was a Sauer. My maiden name is of German or Russian descent, but I also have Irish and Scot. My grandfather came from Canada, but I think he was also Scottish descent.

    Sadly .....our family wasn't much into tradition OR passing down family stories.

    You are very blessed to have a sense of heritage! :-) Happy St. Nick's Day.

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  15. Enjoyed your story of your heritage and family. Also, the St. Nick's story. This is a wonderful season and we are blessed in so many ways.

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  16. Love your heritage story.... I am of German/Irish/Scottish descent. My German ancestors left Germany as they were Lutherans and they made their way to South Australia to escape persecution at the time. I find it fascinating to read about people' ancestry. We are all such a mixed bag of nationalities!
    Hugs xx

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  17. Ellie sure looks determined to find her $10.00!! Such a cute photo and I enjoyed reading about your stocking traditions, Vonna :)

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  18. Interesting to read about your and your husband's German ancestors. Most of the southern regions in Germany used to be Roman Catholic, particularly Bavaria, and also the southwestern corner, where I come from.
    That picture of your kids with their stockings is gerat - particularly Miss Ellie :)))

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  19. Great picture of the kids!

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The Twisted Stitcher