St Nicholas, who is the patron saint of Greece among other things, was renounced for his gift giving and help to the poor. The common tradition is for children to put out their shoes on the eve of his holy day and, if they've been good, to find a gift from St Nick in the morning! A coin is customary, but this year St Nicholas left our children new soothies!
(yes... new pacifiers... because my babies, who didnt want pacifiers in the hospital so much, now LOVE them)
Those shoes were actually part of a gift I received from a woman who reads my blog. AB, to whom I dedicated my last post, and I have become friends and she sent beautiful handmade outfits from Puerto Rico, giving the twins a part of their heritage as a gift! I was hoping to save them for Christmas, but Mr. Big Boy decided he just couldnt wait and, lucky for us, we had a special occasion to wear them to! Maya's boyfriend (the baby boy who shared the NICU with them for the last 3 weeks they were there) had his bris (circumcision) this morning and his parents invited us. So, we got the kids all dressed up and headed to their synagogue for the sacred rite.
They are Orthodox, so the women and men were separated during the event. I stood with Maya in the back platformed area, while Peter stood with Bobby in the main temple area. It was a really beautiful service, although I confess, I cringed during the actual act itself, when the little one cried out. But, if we were thinking of circumcising, I also must confess that I cant think of a better way. They treated the ceremony with respect and reverence. I feel really honored to have been asked to be a part of it, even as just a witness.
Peter wore a kippa and I used my mantilla as a head covering. For the babies, since I wasnt able to locate a kippa for Bobby, we used their blue and pink knitted hats. Which worked well. Some of the relatives had babies and they were in baby type hats too, so I didnt feel like we were out of place. They took pictures, so if I get any of us all dressed up as a family, I will post them.
St Nicholas's Day... It's Nicholas's name day. What a special day. :) All of the children have patron saints. In some tradition's, name days are celebrated like birth days.
Nicholas: Dec 6 (St Nicholas)
Sophia: Sept 17 (St Sophia the Martyr)
Alexander: Aug 30 (St Alexander of Constantinople)
Maya: April 9 (St Irene of Lesvos)
Bobby: April 29 (St Robert of Molesme)