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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Did this guy miss a memo? Nobody likes a skinny Santa!
Did this guy miss a memo? Nobody likes a skinny Santa!

Who the hell is St. Nick?

Tonight, I'm told, St. Nick is flying over Brew City, filling shoes or stockings with heavenly edibles. As a kid, I wished my family celebrated St. Nick because most of my classmates did, but apparently, my Italian and Russian ancestors didn't dig ol' Nick.

Personally, I'm not even sure if St. Nick and Santa are the same person. If so, how does Santa find time during what must be an insane work month to make a worldwide journey just to plop a few  Hershey's kisses in sneakers?

And if Santa and St. Nick aren't the same person, how was it decided who got to make the big journey on the 25th and who got stuck with the early December  mini-tour?

All musings aside, I'm just wondering if I should celebrate St. Nick with my kids, or just skip it, like my folks did. Sure, it's festive and fun, but do they really need more trinkets or sugar bombs? Maybe it's because I don't have a history with the holiday, but I clearly don't get it.

Talkbacks

Bolewski | Dec. 6, 2008 at 8:27 a.m. (report)

I chose to continue the tradition of St. Nick w/my kids. St. Nick was a saint to children who were orphans and he was known to rescue young women forced into prostitution..so I've been told. The significance of the eve of Dec. 5th is when he rescued children from a sinking boat? St. Nick is considered the same as Santa, however in our house we pretend St. Nick works for Santa (a relative) and he's the guy that comes with a stocking full of little presents and a couple sweet treats, and most importantly, a warning letter from St. Nick to be good and remember to brush your teeth, etc..because Santa is watching and making his list and checking it twice... This letter comes in many forms, but always in a form that can be kept as a keepsake. We have a few of the letters hanging on our Christmas tree since my daughter was 7 months old (her 1st Christmas).

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ericaconway | Dec. 5, 2008 at 2:29 p.m. (report)

34767 I like to celebrate St. Nick at the office and at home. It's always such a surprise to everyone, no one ever remembers this holiday! I like to spread joy and laughter on a cold winter day. Nothing warms up an office like smiles!

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Wez | Dec. 5, 2008 at 1:04 p.m. (report)

St. Nick for me as a kid was when my dad would throw on a santa suit, come to my house with chocolate and a small gift and ask my brother and I what we would like for Christmas.

I realized at the young, tender age of 4 or 5 that santa was not real when I looked at a picture my mom took of santa leaving. I noticed his wrist wasn't covered by the outfit and looked exactly like my dads. I was in shock, but I managed to move forward with my life.

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michellemerkel | Dec. 5, 2008 at 12:59 p.m. (report)

As a person who celebrated St Nick as a child and now doesn't here is my view.
1. Getting candy from St Nick is fun. But you should and your children should understand who he is. A quick internet search will assist in this. You should not celebrate something you do not understand or a belief you do not prescribe to.
2. I had a real problem with my kids waking up after their Dad went to work and diving into their stockings. My husband works very hard to provide for us. He should be able to share in their delight of opening their stockings. Because of my very strong feelings about this we no longer celebrate St Nick and our children receive their stockings on Christmas with their presents.
3. Stop worrying about evil "sugar bombs,' and let your kids enjoy a sweet Christmas. I let my kids enjoy the fruits of their stockings whenever they want. Christmas comes but once year, let them enjoy it with all the candy canes and chocolate you have decided to fill their stockings with.
Michelle

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DustyPockets | Dec. 5, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. (report)

The gifts St. Nick brings us are always to be shared. Here is a link with the history and other traditions from around the world.

http://www.stnicholascenter.org

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