St. Nick’s Day

Being from Kentucky, and growing up in Louisville no less, there was a time when I thought that the Kentucky Derby was a normal holiday, like Easter or Halloween. I just figured everybody celebrated it. When I got a little older and the scope of my mind expanded beyond my immediate surroundings, that changed rather quickly.

However, I discovered this week that *apparently*, not *everyone* celebrates St. Nick’s Day. Who knew! It went like this:

Me: “Oh drat, I totally forgot about St. Nick’s Day!”
Boss: “What’s St. Nick’s Day?”
Me: (after I figured out he wasn’t kidding)…WHAT?
Boss: Huh?
Me: You know, St. Nick’s Day, with the shoes and the candy!
Boss: …WHAT?

Horrified, I proceeded to ask every person who walked in the prop shop that day if they knew about St. Nick’s day, what with the shoes and the candy. Nobody did. I had NO idea, people in Connecticut apparently don’t know anything about this holiday, or maybe just people in New Haven? I then attempted to figure out what regions the celebration of St. Nick’s day fell into, but I had no luck whatsoever.

For those who don’t know: On the Eve of the feast day of St. Nicholos (Dec 6), you hang stockings on the fireplace mantle. You then get goodies–small things, usually candy or a slinky (having most assuredly broken last year’s slinky, at least that’s how it was with my family). If you want to be super-traditional (or if you live in a dorm), you leave a shoes out in the hall overnight, and St. Nick (your RA) leaves candy in them for you. Perhaps not the most sanitary of holidays, but still! You get goodies! It’s like pre-Christmas gratification.

My props carpenter said that the tradition probably died out as the whole St. Nick/Santa Claus/giving presents thing got merged in with Christmas. But hey, WE still celebrated it!

What other holidays am I mislead about? Time for research.