Advent Traditions

  • Advent calendars are used to count down the days until Christmas. Many include daily activity and prayer suggestions that can help us prepare spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ
  • There are a variety of Advent calendars on our Advent Calendars page.
  • St. Nicholas was Bishop of Myra during the fourth century and is the inspiration for our modern Santa Claus traditions.
  • One of the most widespread St. Nicholas Day traditions is a “visit” from St. Nicholas on the night before his feast day on December 6. Before going to bed on December 5, children leave their shoes or socks out so that St. Nicholas can fill them with treats overnight. Traditional treats include chocolate coins–which symbolize the gifts St. Nicholas gave to three young maidens of Myra–and candy canes, which are shaped like a bishop’s crosier (staff), reminding us of St. Nicholas’ ministry as a bishop. Simple stocking stuffer type gifts are often included with the treats. (Chocolate coins can usually be found at stores with a large candy selection such as Target and Walmart.)
  • Information about St. Nicholas at Loyola Press.

More discussion of these Advent traditions, plus more not covered here, and ideas for celebrating them can be found on Shower of Roses.