Catholic Activity: Feast of St. Nicholas
In so many countries the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6 is a wonderful day, especially since St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. Here is a picture of what families in Germany and Austria do for their visit with St. Nicholas.
This is a great day in German homes. St. Nicholas pays a visit in person and brings the demon "Krampus" along with him. St. Nicholas asks each child how good he has been and tells him to work hard for Jesus during Advent. He tells him to be very careful about his prayers and warns him to be obedient.
Good children receive gifts of candy and nuts, etc., but Krampus tells the bad ones that if they don't mend their ways he will take them with him. The children promise to be good, and after some growling and rattling of his chains, Krampus has to leave. St. Nicholas gives the "bad" children some candy and nuts also.
If it seems to be impossible to introduce this custom in our country, we could at least tell the children the story of St. Nicholas and show them that Santa Claus is really St. Nicholas. We might also tell them that St. Nicholas was a Bishop "just like our Bishop is". This will help to instill in the children a love and respect for the hierarchy.
Activity Source: How to Make Your House a Home by Rev. Bernard Stokes, O.F.M., Family Life Bureau, Washington D.C., 1955