What do you do when you want the children to grasp the importance of saints in the church, but so many of their books tell the recent fable of Santa Claus? Well, what we do is: 1) Celebrate Nicholasfest as its own big day with presents in stockings and stories, and 2) Have a visit from Santa Mouse.

St. Nick came to our house! Yay!

St. Nick came to our house! Yay!

For the first couple of years of my son’s life, I tried very hard to give him gender neutral learning experiences. We read him books about animals, and he fell in love with the Mimi the mouse books. Mimi’s Christmas was a favorite when he was two and a half years old, on his third Christmas. That was the year that Santa Mouse started to visit.

The mousy Christmas party, 2010.

The mousy Christmas party, 2010.

At the breakfast table on Christmas morning, each child has a package to open. The center of the table usually has a mouse family vignette. The first year, they were at a table eating mouse cakes (petit fours), which Pip helped them finish. Last year, we added a little Christmas tree. This year, I’m thinking mouse nativity scene (because the mice are in a Christmas play), with a mouse audience and Christmas tree, plus a refreshments section run by rabbits with petit four mouse cakes and marzipan loaves for mouse bread. Also, I’m thinking the Advent wreath will have to skootch to the other end of the table to make room for all that.

That’s how we’ve tried to serve both our faith and a lively sense of childish whimsy. What do you do about Santa/St. Nicholas in your house?

About these ads