December 5, St. Nicholas Day, is one of the most anticipated festivals in our school when our children sing Advent songs and hang their hand sewn socks for St. Nick to fill. He usually arrives by foot carrying a golden staff and a golden book with a record of the year’s “good and bad deeds.” He is accompanied by Ruprecht who carries a sack filled with gifts – fruits and hand sewn toys and trinkets made from materials in the school’s garden.
Joan Almon writes in “An Overview of the Waldorf Kindergarten” about the role of Saint Nicholas during Advent:
“(Saint Nicholas) is an archetypal figure of heavenly wisdom and is the forerunner of Santa Claus, whose very name is reminiscent of St. Nicholas. Santa Claus, however, is a more earth-bound, incarnated figure who dwells with elves in the North Pole. Though he, too, if full of love for the children, his gifts are more of a material nature, even though he comes on Christmas Eve, a time of profound spiritual giving. One can understand how he arose in our more materialistic, secular age, and one can hold him a positive way for the sake of the children who love him so, but one can also create a place in the Advent season to bring the original, more heavenly St. Nicholas to the children.”
For more information about St. Nick, browse http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/home/.
At Tuburan, St. Nicholas Day is significant because it’s the time of the year when children attentively listen to St. Nick as he appreciates their good deeds of the year and encourages them to work on their not so good deeds. Indeed our parents and teachers share that the children always take St. Nick’s advice to heart and strive to improve themselves.