Today was an amazingly fun day, starting with late last night, when we were informed by my daughter that we needed to leave shoes out on the porch so St. Nicholas could put a chocolate in each one. I personally haven’t heard of this tradition, but I dutifully snuck out to the store and bought a few chocolates, dropping one in each shoe, then stacking the shoes up late in the night, ready to go. This morning it was still bright and early when the little folks crept downstairs and ran back up excitedly sharing the “candy from St. Nick!”
I usually don’t eat chocolate at 8am, but I did today. And it was good!
Then this morning and early afternoon we spent at Shining Mountain Waldorf School enjoying “Winter Faire”, complete with a chance to talk with King Winter and lots of games and crafts for the kids. We all had a wonderful time and I got to help lots of wee ones make woolen doves and walnut babies, which was truly delightful. That such simple pleasures can bring such pride and joy to children… it’s remarkable.
We made a mid-afternoon stop at “The Great Indoors” to look for new towel rails (unsuccessfully), and we were back on Pearl Street Mall having a quick dinner and getting ready for the annual Boulder Parade of Lights.
Of course, the local kids call it the “Parade of Candy” because just about every group in the parade hands out (or throws!) candy at the crowd. And boy did we get lots of candy, that we promptly shared with all the other children in the area. I’m guessing over 50 pieces of candy cane would have been our stash if we’d hoarded it all. After a while, we were throwing the candy back at the kids in the floats!
The parade itself was primarily a chance for Girl Scout, Boy Scout, and church groups to march in a parade, but there were decorated fire engines, trucks hauling carolers from different church and religious organizations, the humane society, two school marching bands, and much more. And, because we’re in Boulder, two different peace groups, one of which marched under a banner of “We Love Our Troops! Let’s Bring Them Home!”. The other group had individual placards, my favorite of which said “I love our troups [sic] and want them home today”. I continue to be curious about what kind of troupes that person was thinking of when they wrote their card out?
But more fundamentally, the parade was tremendous fun, with a simple low-cost “everyone participates” feel that was really delightful. It may be a simple pleasure, but there’s definitely some truth to “everyone loves a parade”. And everyone there did.
St. Nicholas, whose feastday is 6 December, is the derivation of the American Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas, Sant Nicklaus, Santa Claus…), he was an incredibly generous Catholic Bishop somewhere in Europe (sigh, I have forgotten) but it is said that should good children leave their shoes out on the night of the 5th, they would receive a small treat.
We always celebrated in my family, it was neat 🙂