Simple Ways to Celebrate Feast Day of Saint Nicholas + Stocking Stuffer Ideas

The feast day of Saint Nicholas is celebrated on each year on December 6th. St. Nicholas was a bishop known for his good deeds and the way he served children and the needy. He is the Patron Saint of children, travelers, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, unmarried people, brewers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers and coopers. In honor of St. Nicholas’s generosity, and our faith in God’s promise to give good gifts to his children, we celebrate with shoes, stockings, oranges and treats.

Place shoes by a fireplace and fill them with treats

The age-old tradition of leaving shoes outside your door "in hopes" that Saint Nicholas will fill them with treats by the morning stems from a true story! 

St. Nicholas, also know as the Bishop of Myra, obeyed Jesus' words of, "sell what you own and give your money to the poor." One of the most famous stories about him is when he saved three sisters from slavery because they were too poor to afford dowry money for a husband. On three different occasions, St. Nicholas anonymously and mysteriously threw a bag of gold coins, either through an open window or down a chimney, into their home. The bags of gold were said to have landed in stockings or shoes left by the fire to dry. To this day, oranges represent the bags of gold. 

In honor of St. Nicholas' feast day, and his love and generosity, have everyone who lives in your house set out their shoes by the fireplace or the door the night before December 6. If you have children, they can set out carrots for St. Nick’s horse. After they have gone to bed, fill their shoes with our gift ideas listed below.

Gift ideas to put in shoes/stockings: 

For babies:

For toddles and children:

For teens and adults:

Make orange balls

Make surprise orange balls to give extra pizazz to the magic of giving.

Supplies needed:

  • Hollow plastic balls that open
  • Small treats or affirmation notes * Gold coins (optional)
  • Orange crepe paper
  • Green paper or felt for a leaf
  • Tape
  • Scissors

How to make surprise orange balls:

  1. Fill a plastic ball with small treats or an affirmation note. 
  2. Cut the crepe paper into 1/2-inch strips and wrap around the ball. You can also hide gold coins or other small things in between the layers to make it bigger.
  3. Tape it closed.
  4. Cut leaf shapes out of green paper or felt and tape on top.
  5. Place the surprise balls inside shoes or stockings on the Feast of St. Nicholas.

In some churches, there is a special blessing of the oranges, after which everyone can take some blessed fruit home. You can easily do this at home!

Make a dried orange garland

In some churches, there is a special blessing of the oranges, after which everyone can take some blessed fruit home. You can easily do this blessing at home and then turn the oranges into a beautiful garland to decorate your mantel or staircase. 

The Prayer:

Loving God, you ask us to show kindness and care to everyone. 

Thank you for good Saint Nicholas who shows us how to give gifts and care to others, especially children. 

To make the dried orange garland, you need the following supplies:

  • Oranges
  • Cutting knife
  • Cutting board
  • Paper towels
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Fishing line 

How to make the garland:

  1. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible, around 150-225 degrees (you do not want to burn the oranges!)
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Slice the oranges into thin rounds and blot them dry with paper towels. 
  4. Bake for 2-3 hours, flipping them halfway through. They are done when they look slightly browned.
  5. Once the orange cool, string them on fishing line about 2 inches apart. You can hang them around your house to serve as a reminder to give like Saint Nicholas!

Give to someone in need

St. Nicholas anonymously gave to a family in need. You can give to those in need, too. We've listed a few ways you can give to those in need below:

  • Donate to an organization that aids impoverished people.
  • Go through a room or two in your house to find things that are still in good condition that you don’t use or need.
  • Donate them to a local charity that gives out items for free. * Find a family to adopt for Christmas.

Blessing of the candy canes

Candy canes are a popular holiday treat! Go to your local grocery store and purchase a fresh box of candy canes. After dinner, give one candy cane to each family member, and bless each candy cane by saying the following prayer:

Candy canes were originally made to represent the shepherd’s staff (or crozier) of St. Nicholas, who was the Bishop of Myra in the 3rd century. 

All bishops carry staffs, hooked at the top like a shepherd’s crook, showing they are the spiritual shepherds who care for their people, just as Jesus is the Good Shepherd. 

Gather the candy canes in your house and say the Blessing of the Candy Canes over them. Hang them in special places around the house or on your tree if you have one.... or let you children eat and enjoy them~

If you're searching for more gift ideas, click here to shop gifts for baby, gifts for toddler, gifts for children, gifts for teen and gifts for her


Looking for inspiration on how to celebrate the liturgical seasons and feast days? 

Living The Seasons: Simple Ways To Celebrate The Beauty Of Your Faith Throughout The Year is a full-color guide to creatively celebrate our faith. Each page is filled with beautiful inspiration with effortless directions to celebrate feast days, holy days and seasons within the Church. This will be your resource for living liturgically! Now available to order on our website

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