There appears to be, in the great state of Wisconsin, an extra saint with his own extra special child-focused holiday. As far as I ever knew, there's one St. Nicolas and he also goes by Santa Claus and Kris Kringle. However, here we have this whole other guy, who goes by St. Nick, and he gets his own day to give out presents. Just to children, not their parents.
Sounds like a scam doesn't it? I thought so. I'd heard about this St Nick dude years ago from some of the younger children I worked with. Apparently, dude comes every December 5th, only to Wisconsin, and maybe Europe. The littlest cheeseheads are supposed to leave their boots outside and in the morning there will be a gift. In the boot. Seriously.
So when our own little cheesehead appeared, and was joined by her sister-cheesehead, I firmly took the stand that I was against extra gift- getting holidays for the kids. My excuse was that I am from Illinois and there are well known rivalry's and several unflattering nicknames for us not all of which revolve around football. The Husband is from New Mexico where they don't even have football, and they have all sorts of other holiday traditions, none including this Mr. St. Nick. However, he is a soft and mushy sort of Daddy and he insisted our children participate in the getting part of this invented holiday.
SO I WAS CLEAR. If YOU want to do this, than YOU are going to have to do it. I will NOT do it. Raise your hand if you think The Husband pulled it off more than the one time (ha ha that's kind of a trick because your hands are probably on a keyboard but I'm thinking I win anyway). Right. Anyway, I wake him up around midnight and ask him what he put outside on the eve of December 5th. A combination sound of moaning/begging/whining vomits out his mouth and he asks me plaintively.... can you put something out? Naturally.
I dig through the gifts I've managed to obtain prior to the actual real holiday and pick out some small ones. I stuff them outside in the smelly, fetid boots of my children with rain or snow or both pummeling all of it. However, this year there was a small issue. See, since I don't know anything about this St. Nick dude (is he the same as the Saint Nick Santa Claus dude?), I don't remember to think about it. Additionally, it's not my responsibility. When Genea came home and announced it was St. Nick's holiday the next day I took her at her word, assuming she would not mess up a gift- getting opportunity.
I was sort of right.
In her Genea-ness, she was a day early. So she and her sister proudly carried off their little puzzle books to school to show their friends and all their little demon friends told them..... He didn't come last night, he was going to come the next night.
The Husband and I decided to come clean about St. Nick. Somehow, my 8 and 10 year olds had not figured it out despite our rather obvious error. Genea cried for about 2 seconds, then told me thank you for the gift. She seemed to think knowing the truth was pretty cool. Teena was angry we would even speak such evil. We had told them Santa is still, um, a thing. Teena informed us that if Santa is real, and the Elf of Shelves is real, then St. Nick is real and that's that. She told us unequivocally that Santa does not want kids to have to wait all through the dregs of December for their gifts so he spreads some around early.
Many of Teena's theories seem to work in her favor. She also believes that kids only have to be good in December for Santa to come. Really.
The girls think St Nick and Santa are the same person. I spent like, 90 seconds looking for answers before this post and couldn't find anything definitive. Santa has his own big holiday, though it's really not in celebration of him per se, it's about someone else's birthday. If they are the same saint, is it his birthday 3 weeks prior? Are they different saints? I just do not know. I think it's made up.
The last thing they wanted to know was if they could still get gifts for the holiday. Sure, I told them. Go buy them and I'll stick them outside for you to find. No problem!