Sunday, December 5, 2010

St. Nick Comes Tonight...the Tradition of Saint Nick

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So, I got the idea for this post because my husband and I have very different views of St. Nick and how we celebrated it as children.  When I was younger, we put our shoes in front of the fireplace on December 5 evening and we would awake to have them full of candy.  Then, for Christmas, we would hang our stockings up and awake to have them full of all kind of goodies Christmas morning.  My husband celebrated by only putting his stocking up on December 5 to have it full of goodies.  He would not do anything with the stockings for Christmas.  That, to me, just felt wrong.  However, we have celebrated it his way every year that we have been together...Well, now that I have the proof I need, I think we will be going back to my childhood ways!  Here is some information I dug out about the tradition of St. Nick.

I pulled some information from Wikpedia. 
"While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Louisville, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick's Day on a scale similar to the German custom. On the day after Thanksgiving or sometime in December, children and their families put up a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree is a medium-sized pine tree that they put in their family rooms and decorate with ornaments and garlands of all sorts. They also normally put a star or angel on the top, as a symbol of Christ's birth. On the 24 of December, Christmas Eve, each child puts one empty stocking/sock on their fireplace. The following morning of 25 of December, the children awake to find that St. Nick has filled their stockings with candy and small presents (if the children have been good) or coal (if not). Gifts often include chocolate gold coins to represent the gold St. Nick gave to the poor and small trinkets. They also awake to find presents under the tree, wrapped in Christmas-themed paper. For these children, the relationship between St. Nick and Santa Claus is not clearly defined, although St. Nick is usually explained to be a helper of Santa (as opposed to being Santa himself, another option). The tradition of St. Nick's Day is firmly established in the Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis communities, with parents often continuing to observe the day with their adult children. Widespread adoption of observing the tradition has spread among the German, Polish, Belgian and Dutch communities throughout Iowa and Wisconsin, and is carried out through modern times. Saint Nicholas day is not widely known or celebrated in the United States, except by people with strong Catholic or European roots.
Many people in the United states celebrate a separate St Nicholas Day as in other countries by putting their shoes outside their bedroom doors on Dec 5th. St Nicholas then comes in the night leaving gifts and sugary treats for children and adults alike."

I found this on
"Early in the Advent season celebrate a feast that has been popular for centuries in Christian countries, especially in Northern Europe. In our over-commercialized society, this holiday gives us a good "teaching moment" to remind children that Jolly Santa Claus, is, in fact, Saint Nicholas, a fourth century bishop of the city of Myra in what is now Turkey.
Saint Nicholas was renowned for his great kindness and his generous aid to those in distress. Among the kind and miraculous acts attributed to him are saving three young girls from prostitution by secretly providing them with dowries, raising three murdered boys from the dead, and saving sailors caught in stormy seas. For these reasons, he is considered the patron saint of children, unmarried girls, and sailors, among others.
Traditional celebrations of Saint Nicholas Day in Northern Europe included gifts left in children's shoes (the origin of our American Christmas stockings). Good children receive treats - candies, cookies, apples and nuts, while naughty children receive switches or lumps of coal. Sometimes coins were left in the shoes, reminiscent of the the life-saving doweries the saint provided. Today - especially in families of German extraction - children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and expect to find candy and coins or small gifts in their shoe on December 6th.
In some households the father of the family may dress up as Saint Nicholas on the eve of his feast. He comes in, sometimes with his sidekick, Krampus or Black Peter, and helps each child examine his conscience. He admonishes the bad and rewards the good. If your family enjoys theatrics, this is a wonderful opportunity early in Advent to inspire children to amend their ways in preparation for the coming King. (Your family might get together with other families with young children and celebrate together.)"

Okay, so I found some information to support my cause.  Now, I just have to get my husband to read my blog...getting him to read ANYTHING would be a Christmas miracle in itself! 
So, how do you celebrate St. Nick's...or don't you?  What tradition might you and your families have? 

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What a sweet deal!  I am always looking for sweaters during the winter months-my husband likes to keep it chilly in the house-his reasoning: I (me) can put more clothes on to keep warm-he can't just walk around in his shorts all day.  We also sleep with a ceiling fan on year round-I sleep with 4 blankets while he just uses the bed sheet!
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Ice Breakers Review

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We have been reviewing the new Ice Breakers Frost peppermint flavored mints.  The mints themselves are a little bigger than a Reese's Pieces.  They dissolve slowly so the mint lasts a little while.  They have a pleasant minty flavor-they kept our breaths fresh for at least an hour.  Ann and I started trying them after one of our coffee meetings-we meet at a local coffee spot that has WiFi and work on deals we can share with you!
I also really like the packaging-the cover opens half way and snaps shut.  I am big into reusing packaging-I can't wait until I think of a fun project for the container.  When we are done with our mints we are both going to try the Wintercool flavor.  We have seen both flavors at the checkouts of stores around town-we think you would enjoy them too!
They are great mints-I am enjoying one now! :)  Oh!  They are also sugar free!

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The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and more than 12,000 employees. With revenues of more than $5 billion, Hershey offers such iconic brands as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers as well as the smooth, creamy indulgence of Hershey’s Bliss chocolates. Hershey is a leader in the fast-growing dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey’s Special Dark and Hershey’s Extra Dark. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where we live, work and do business. The Milton Hershey School, established by the company’s founder in 1909, provides a nurturing environment, quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. The School is administered by the Hershey Trust Company, Hershey’s largest shareholder, making the students of Milton Hershey School direct beneficiaries of Hershey’s success. Please visit us at

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Kmart is doubling manufacturer's coupons up to $2 tomorrow, 12/5 through Tuesday, 12/7! You must purchase $25 or more in grocery & drugstore merchandise, and they will only double up to 5 coupons per day. You must also be a Shop Your Way Rewards member. Click here for details, and make sure to call your local Kmart to make sure they are participating before you head out!

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Review of Five Great Children's Books

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I recently was given the opportunity to read some great children's books.  The books were for all different age groups, so they made good reading time with the kiddos!  Betsy enjoyed reading them with her school age children that she works with after school.  It was great for them to sit and listen to during a quiet story time.  They even asked to look at them and discussed them during center activity time.  My children really enjoyed the diversity of all these books.  They had lots of questions, so this was also a very great learning experience for us all!

Pearl's Wisdom by Auntie Lulu
In her first book, Pearl’s Wisdom, author and former elementary school teacher Auntie Lulu conveys the lessons taught by a seemingly ordinary Halloween pumpkin named Pearl. Through a picture book of photos rather than illustrations, the former middle school teacher shows that Pearl is different from all other Halloween pumpkins. She enjoys her life and friends and smiles through life’s challenges. “Pearl’s Wisdom is an honest book,” says Auntie Lulu. “All the photos are original and untouched. The wind blew off her eyes and her nose, but the smile stuck on until the end.” The story, inspired by a real pumpkin that stayed with her from Halloween through January in her backyard, emphasizes the importance of viewing life as a gift and smiling even when times are hard.  An encouraging read, Pearl’s Wisdom brings both entertainment and a positive message to parents, children and educators alike.

The Legend of Vysallimore by Mike Hemingway
The Legend of Vysallimore, a new children’s book by Mike Hemingway, follows the story of the Knights, a father and his son and daughter, through their ultimate test of chivalry. When searching the Red Tower for stronger weapons to use against the supernatural forces holding the Maiden prisoner, the Knights learn of a stronger power than weapons: love. Renewed with the strength of familial bond and a father’s love for his children, the Knights set out on their quest in good versus evil, to rescue the Maiden from the Devil’s hands. Told in rhyme, The Legend of Vysallimore is a fast-paced tale of adventure, one for parents to read aloud to their children over and over again. It speaks to the importance of a family bond, an expression of love and a parent’s influence on his or her child’s life.

Life through a Kitten’s Eyes by Nancy Rearick
In her first book, author Nancy Rearick takes readers into the adventures of an even-tempered new pet owner as seen through the eyes of his rambunctious kitten. A story of love, tolerance and the ability to find humor in even the most trying circumstances, Life Through a Kitten’s Eyes playfully teaches children and pet owners everywhere the importance of being patient and compassionate toward animals no matter how much trouble they might cause.

The Boy Who Conquered Everest by Katherine Blanc
The Boy Who Conquered Everest, a 2010 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award winner, chronicles the story of Jordan Romero, who decided when he was 9 years old that he wanted to climb the tallest mountain on each of the continents, collectively known as the Seven Summits. Now, at 14, he’s scaled six of them – the most recent being Mt. Everest. Blanc, who has followed Jordan’s story from the beginning, wants to share it with the world. Compiled as a scrapbook, readers are able to go on a visual journey through Jordan’s quest to get to the highest peak in the world and understand that hard work can be rewarding in the end – a principle Jordan lives by. “All the work was totally worth it,” the teen says regarding his Everest climb. “We had the time of our lives standing there on top … I called home and said, ‘Hi, Mom. I’m calling you from the top of the world!’”

There’s an Elephant in My Bathtub by Art Miramontes
 In their first book, There’s An Elephant In My Bathtub, author Art Miramontes and illustrator Arturo Miramontes equate imagination with adventure. The father and son take young readers on an adventure with 6-year-old Andres, whose vivid imagination brings wild animals to an otherwise-typical bath time. Combining elements such as kid-friendly illustrations, various colors and animals, There’s An Elephant In My Bathtub addresses themes of education and creativity with the purpose of encouraging kids to continue reading and allowing them to pretend. Imaginative and fun, Miramontes and his son take young readers on a vivid journey that parents can appreciate.

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Wanna Get More for Your Money?

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So, if you are anything like us, you get excited about saving money!  So, naturally, when I can get cash back on purchases I make for my Christmas presents I am thrilled.  That is why I love Ebates.  It's one of those cashback sites.  They always have great cashback opportunities from the stores that I love to shop at the most.  All you do is make a purchase by first going through their site and wahla!  You get a percentage of your sale back in a check.  Joining Ebates is always free - you never have to pay anything. And four times a year or more, they'll mail you a Big Fat Check, or transfer the money to your PayPal account if you'd prefer. They can even send the money to your favorite charity. All 100% free.
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Brilliant Lenses Cleaner and optical microfiber cloth Review

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"Brilliant Lenses Cleaner and optical microfiber cloth. A premium eyeglass cleaner with SR-8 that adds a protective barrier to lenses to resist scratches and soiling from water, sweat, dust and dirt. For ALL types of lenses."

The Brilliant Lenses Cleaner and optical microfiber cloth is compact and easy to use.  The package consists of 2 sprays a cleaning cloth and a drawstring bag to keep everything together.  I started using the spray on my cell phone-sometimes I don't realize how dirty the screen gets!  I sprayed and wiped with the microfiber cloth and a moment later the screen was really clean!  I passed on the spray and cloth to my husband who wears glasses-he loved it!  Sometimes you don't realize how dirty the glasses you depend on everyday can get.  My husband thought he needed a new prescription the other day and with a little cleaning he can see clearer!  He had been using just a microfiber cleaning cloth but the spray solution is a definite bonus-it does clean better than just a cloth alone.

I love the carrying bag-both sprays and the optical microfiber cloth fit in the bag and the drawstrings allow you to tie the bag up so nothing falls out!  My husband puts it in his backpack so it is ready for when he needs it at work.  Very convenient and easy to use.  There is no odor to the spray either!  We also really like the Scratch Resistant Coating that is in the solution.  A definite plus when you are using it on a phone screen! I also applied it to my iPod screen-cleaned it right up!
This is the perfect stocking stuffer for someone who wears glasses!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

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