Ed Gawlinski wrote to me about his family’s holiday traditions. His letter shows how you can be creative and expose your children to many different customs around the world at this time of year…
The Polish Custom is for Saint Nicholas (świętego Mikołaja) to bring children presents on December 6th …. The traditions that go with this parallel those in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere in Europe. I found a short poem for Saint Nicholas that you might enjoy.
“On St. Nicholas Day,
The band of children waits;
For the good cookie he brings,
But for the naughty a switch that stings.”
Na świętego Mikołaja,
czeka dzieci cała zgraja,
Da posłusznym ciasteczko,
Złe przekropi różeczką.
I also have a story about Saint Nicholas. We would give our kids little gifts on Saint Nichols Day, Saint Lucia Day, Three Kings Day, etc. Our son-in-law referred to this as the 45 days of Gawlinski Christmas… One year as Saint Nichols day approached our second child, Allison was not being well behaved. She didn’t get a Saint Nicholas day present that morning. By noon, we had found where St. Nick hid the present. From then on, until well after Christmas, she was the best behaved little girl you ever saw.
Edward M. Gawlinski
Giving little gifts on the different international holidays gives you an opportunity to explain to kids how people do things differently around the world. You could also give a gift for a day of Chanukah and the Indian festival of Diwali (if you don’t celebrate these holidays already).
Feel free to comment below or email me to share your holiday customs with us!
This article was posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 at 2:52 pm and is filed under Austria, Belgium, Christmas Poems, Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Epiphany, Holidays Around the World, Kings Day, Languages, Poetry, Poland, Polish, St. Lucia's Day, St. Nicholas Day, Sweden. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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