the sixth of december is my feast day. well, not my feast day but my saint's feast day. well, he's not MY saint, per se. i guess he's everyone's saint. well, he doesn't belong to everyone. i mean, he's not a slave, for cripe's sake. he's his own man. a man of god. so i guess he's god's saint, if you want to believe in that stuff. but he wasn't like a robot or a piece of property. i mean, god gave him free will, according to the church that calls him a saint. so he was his own man. but now he's dead. and now he's a saint. that's how it works. you've got to die if you want to be a saint. them's the rules.
anyhow, it's the feast day of saint nicholas. when i was a kid, we'd put our shoes outside of our bedroom doors on the night of the fifth of december. then in the morning, before school, we'd find candies in our shoes. as we got smarter over the years, we'd use bigger shoes, so as to fit more candies.
anywho, at some point, we started leaving the shoes on the fireplace. we'd still have candy in the morning. then, a few years after that, it seems ol' st. nic got tired of visiting and sometimes he'd forget to have our mom remind us to put our shoes out, then ol' mom had to give us ziplocks filled with her OWN candy. even in my freshman year of college, i got a ziplock o' candy in the mail for st. nicholas's day.
on an unrelated note: i'm the only kid in my immediate family who ever had the name "nicholas" but don't think i got any special treatment on st. nicholas's day. i was just another face in the crowd at my household. and i wouldn't have it any other way. my mother was fair ... stern ... stern, but fair.