Friday, December 5, 2008

St. Nick's Day and evil parents!!

Even though my parents exchange student experience was a disaster, I am finding out it saved me from having Jayce coming home in tears. I have heard many a tale of kindergartner's returning home on December 6 crying to their unsuspecting parents "why didn't he come to our house?" So, Thank You exchange student program. The tradition goes:

On the evening of December 5, you leave out a shoe or a sock in the hopes that Saint Nicholas will stop by and leave treats and toys for the good children and a lump of coal or a switch for naughty children (kind of like Easter in December). This tradition is claimed to be a German holiday, but it is very, very, popular here in Milwaukee. Most places now combine St. Nick day and Christmas together (hmm, I believe that in the Nutcracker the children were waiting for the Christ Child to leave gifts, hmm - another late night research question). You can read more here or here.

Back to the story. So last year we celebrated St. Nicholas Day as an entire family . We lavished them with yummy chocolates because nothing says you are wonderful and good like chocolate. I was surprised when Jayce told me about the other kids getting stuff, since I had never heard of this holiday before. Well of course the exchange student is gone and I had forgotten about this holiday, until Jayce came home to remind us.

I was busy re-scheduling my evening to include a trip to Target so Jayce would not find empty smelly shoes in the morning, when the kids (as is their habit these days) began fighting. Jason stepped in to stop the ruckus which turns (as usual) into Jayce getting a little mouthy and both of the boys not going to time out without a fight. So in a three minute time span they hit the big three:1) fighting, 2)arguing/back talking with parents, and 3) not minding. Jason in his moment of parenting finesse told them that St. Nick would not becoming tonight because they were being naughty.

Now it was out there, we can't take it back, we have to follow through (which is very hard for Jason, he is a big push over - I on the other hand am as unbending as steel).

We had them write Santa a letter asking for their Christmas wishes and they are hoping for the best. So, their shoes have three small pieces of candy (no chocolate) and a lengthy note from St. Nick explaining to them that they are currently in jeopardy of losing their Christmas. Now, we have one holiday that we can take away (sort of, kind of, not really - at least their shoes are not empty or have coal). Will they believe us when we threaten that Santa will not be coming?
[By the way, they were not even slightly distressed this morning. ]

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