It's finally here! I have been waiting for St. Nicholas day since summer! Every year I bake 1st. Initial cookies. The kids put out there shoes. I fill them with candy and put the cookies on top.
My family has a traditional sugar cookie recipe used for St. Nicholas day. This year I made cookies, filled their shoes with (chocolate) gold coins and gave them candy canes, and I made traditional Speculatius.
St. Nicholas was bishop of Myra in the 4th century. Story has it that a poor widow was with out food and money and St. Nicholas at night filled her shoe with gold coins. The candy canes recall the shepherds staff, which the bishop uses to lead Christ's "sheep".
I'm not sure that the initial cookies have any religious associations, they are a tradition in my family. My Mormor, Swedish for grandma, made the cookies for her 13 kids, each with a different color frosting. My mom made them for me and my 6 siblings. I make them for my four little ones. I made a small cookie for the baby.
I am so happy to have a small respite from Advent, even though we are only a few days in.