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If you are Polish abroad or of Polish descent, do you celebrate St. Nicholas day?

Marysienka 1 | 195
5 Dec 2012 #1
Tomorrow is Saint Nicholas day. In Poland it's the day when children get presents under their pillows, or from actual Saint Nick they meet at church.

I today I had a chat with my co-worker, whose all kids live in UK and her 5 grandchildren are raised there. They won't get presents tonight or tomorrow.

So, what about you? Do you celebrate St Nick's day. Why? Why not?
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240
5 Dec 2012 #2
"Mikołajki" is just for kids really, Mikolaj stopped leaving presents under my and my sisters' pillows when we stopped being kids :). It's up to the parents I guess if they want to carry on with this tradition when they move abroad with their children. On one hand it's nice an a fun treat for the kids, on the other hand, how do they explain to their foreign friends why they got extra presents from Santa and other kids didn't? ;)
TommyG 1 | 361
5 Dec 2012 #3
So, what about you? Do you celebrate St Nick's day. Why? Why not?

No. I have never done so whilst living in the UK. Why? Because we celebrate Christmas on the 25th:D
However, when in Rome... I'll celebrate tomorrow with a few drinks:D Does that count?
6 Dec 2012 #4
I'll celebrate tomorrow with a few drinks:D Does that count?

Will Santa get you a drink?
"Call me Nick, ho ho ho" :)
OP Marysienka 1 | 195
6 Dec 2012 #5
Because we celebrate Christmas on the 25th:D

we celebrate at 24th more , but still we have this too. You could give somebody a bottle of something and tell them you met St. Nick and he told you to give it to them and to share. That way you could

celebrate tomorrow with a few drinks

6 Dec 2012 #6
we celebrate at 24th more

Which can work well: we do the Polish Christmas thing on 24th at home with far too many dishes and no booze. Then on the 25th we go to the Hilton Christmas brunch and get hammered while stuffing ourselves silly.
noreenb 7 | 557
7 Dec 2012 #7
"Mikołajki" is a nice day, but by me was celebrated only when I was a child. Sometimes, not every year, I buy and that special day some little gifts for nearest family or friends.
beckski 12 | 1,617
8 Dec 2012 #8
Don't recall my family ever celebrating St Nicholas Day in our home.

Then on the 25th we go to the Hilton Christmas brunch

However, I DO like Harry's method of Christmas celebration :)
TheLox - | 50
8 Dec 2012 #9
Yay, Christmas. Yum, Apple Pie.
Polanglik 11 | 303
8 Dec 2012 #10
Growing up in London, of Polish parents, my brother and I always looked forward to Dec 6th, St Nicholas Day - as children we got presents, but as we got older the gifts became smaller. Even though I am nearly 50yrs young, my mother, brother and wife still share small gifts on St Nicholas Day.

I have children of my own now, and they get presents on 6th Dec in the same way - my wife and I also give each other presents, but just some token gesture like some chocolates, or a small gift.

As a 3-4 yr old I was taken to the local town hall where St Nicholas would appear with some angels and he would hand out presents to children who attended - (these were presents bought by the child's parents but handed out as if from St Nicholas). Presents are handed out by St Nicholas, and not by Santa Claus .... Later as we got older, presents were left by our beds so when we woke on Dec 6th we would have presents :o)

I know that 'Meeting St Nicholas' is organised in our Polish Centre, POSK in Hammersmith West London, where loads of young children gather with their parents to see St Nicholas - it's a great tradition for Polish people, and I believe this is celebrated in other countries like Holland and Belgium.

how do they explain to their foreign friends why they got extra presents from Santa and other kids didn't? ;)

We just explain that this is a Polish tradition - remember they receive presents from St Nicholas and not Santa. We also tell them that Polish people's main celebration day over Christmas period is Christmas Eve, and not Christmas Day - there is a big meal on Christmas Eve, after which presents are shared from under the Christmas Tree, and those who are able will attend midnight mass - some Polish people say you shouldn't drink alcohol with the meal on Christmas Eve, but others aren't so strict and we being the 'not so strict' will have wine, and vodka to accompany our meal :o)

As we live in London, and have also been brought up to observe British traditions, we Celebrate Christmas Day the way other Brits do .... Turkey Christmas Lunch, with all the trimmings, Christmas Crackers on the table, followed by falling asleep on the sofa watching the usual tv shows ...... re-runs of Only Fools & Horses or Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show from the seventies !

In the same way Polish people celebrate Dec 6th and 24th .... and get gifts twice at Christmas, living in England we get gifts on our birthdays, something I was told by my mum and grandparents Polish people don't usually celebrate in a big way, and also on our 'Imieniny' or our Saint's Day which is the day Polish people celebrate more :o) I'm sure some may disagree with me, but this is what I was told.

In any case ..... it's great being Polish :o)
polonius 54 | 420
8 Dec 2012 #11
As in Poland, across our US Polonia it is the Church that helps promote genuine traditions including Swiety Mikolaj. tne celebration I attended at a Polish-American parish in Michigan a few yeasrs ago, Sw. Mikoaj arrived in his espicopal finery, greteed the assembly with the traditonal 'Niech bedzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus' and proceeded to mingle with the crowd. He chatted t with youngsters, quizzed them on theri prayers and behaviour, had them sing a koleda and suchlike. Meanwhile, the emcee read out a message from St Nick. If I recall it went along these lines: 'I have heard that some of you here hate St Nick and constantly insult him. Some claim I am a transvestite that goes round in the get-up of an oversized beer-bellied elf, cavort on rooftops with a bunch of flea-biutten reindeer, slide down chimneys, go ho-ho-hp and do a lot of other stupid things. Or that I live at the North Pole. What in the world wopuld any saint be doing there --- try trying to convert the polar bears?' The message then expalined what the real St Nick was all about: he leaves gifts and goodies to teach kids the importance of sharing what they have with others.
TheLox - | 50
8 Dec 2012 #12
Over here, the gifts are usually placed under a tree, and you can't open them until morning, the 25th. You're supposed to leave cookies out for St.Nick, overnight (Although I would sneak out in the middle of the night, and eat some). Now, based on a new generation of family tradition, my family just goes to my Uncle's house, and we celebrate there, and spend the night.
polonius 54 | 420
10 Dec 2012 #13
Polish American kids feel lucky because they get to open their gifts after the Wigilia supper. The other kids have to wait until the nerxt day.
TheLox - | 50
13 Dec 2012 #14
Well this Christmas Santa will bring me..........NOTHING!........due to his lack of existence. However, there may be other options.....
Polanglik 11 | 303
13 Dec 2012 #15
Well this Christmas Santa will bring me..........NOTHING!........

That's what comes from being on the 'Naughty' list :o)
OP Marysienka 1 | 195
13 Dec 2012 #16
you never stop believing in St. Nicholas. ( if you are a Christian from denomination that has saints) he just stops sending presents with angels and starts using people instead.
polonius 54 | 420
13 Dec 2012 #17
The example set by the real St Nick is ideal for today's selfish.greedy times. After the daeah of his of wealthy parents, he gave away his entire fortune to the poor. He often did so under the cover of night, leaving gold coins under the pillows of dowryless maidens and not sticking around to be thanked. (Something like our old American Lone Ranger!)

He can be held up for kids today as an example of altruism, helping the less fortunate and sharing what we've got with the disadvanategd and underprivleged.

Unlike Santa, he does not fuel the greed machine by asking: 'And what do you WANT for Christmas little boy' (within earshot of the kid's parents).

TheLox - | 50
13 Dec 2012 #18
I guess I've been bad this year....and you guys are hilarious....

As long as you don't pop babies out left and right for Christmas gifts, then I guess you're fine...
nikttaki 5 | 62
13 Dec 2012 #19
yes! I come from Poland and live abroad with my boyfriend (he isn't Polish) and really like Mikolajki (06/12) :-) I like giving and getting a wee pressie on the 6th of Dec. My parents sent us a wee santa claus surprise too this year !!!! I will continue celebrating santa claus day - always nice to see a smile at somebody's face and feel child again when you find something under your pillow!!!
TheLox - | 50
13 Dec 2012 #20
The only thing I ever found under my pillow was the bed.
Meathead 5 | 473
14 Dec 2012 #21
The example set by the real St Nick is ideal for today's selfish.greedy times.

Typical anti Santa Claus pap from the Roman Pagan Church. I attended a Christmas service a long time ago in Denver where one of the parish Nun's concocted a story-line in the middle of the Mass where they had Santa Claus literally assassinated (simulated violence). Typical American church goers thank God, I don't think anyone paid attention. You Roman pagans are just a bunch of sick puppies.
TheLox - | 50
14 Dec 2012 #22
I thougt Saint Nick was just some overweight man that somehow manages his way down chimneys, but oh well
OP Marysienka 1 | 195
14 Dec 2012 #23
Did Saint Nicholas ever come through chimney? How would he fit in air duct, aren't those 14x14 cm ?? how would he get out from tiled stove?
TheLox - | 50
14 Dec 2012 #24
Well, in American Tradition he comes through the chimney and puts presents under the tree. That's a question that most have been trying to figure out. Yet, there is no answer. Maybe it's yet another le the Government told us? I don't know.
OP Marysienka 1 | 195
14 Dec 2012 #25
I meant the story was create in places where fireplaces were much more popular so Santa comes down the chimney and leaves coal for naughty children. St Nick and Angel can just teleport from heaven , no need for chimneys.

I'm pointing out difference between beings that bring gifts in Polish tradition and new Santa. ;)
TheLox - | 50
14 Dec 2012 #26
All I know, is I've been bad. I think. I don't know what's coming about for Christmas. The food and being with family is good though. *Smile*
OP Marysienka 1 | 195
14 Dec 2012 #27
Whatever comes, it's good to find some nice things under Christmas tree and spend time with people :)
And I just read in local newspaper that St Nick (wearing his bishop attire) came to my town on his sledge with reindeers from North Pole. An he came at 9th.
TheLox - | 50
14 Dec 2012 #28
Man, I can't wait to see my baby cousins this Christmas.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
5 Dec 2016 #29
Merged: The real St Nicholas is only a humble servant of the Christ Child

America may be the soruce of today's crass Christmas commericlaism spreading around the globe, but that country is so vast that it has room for myriad diverse options and opportunities. The US is also the headquarters of the St Nicholas Centre whose mission it is to show that the saintly bishop was not some goofy overgrown, beer-bellied ho-ho-ho elf servng as the world's greatest promoter of Yuletide commercialism.

For instance at that website one can read:

"In my own heart I cannot separate Christmas from that Boy Child born in Bethlehem
some two thousand years ago.
I believe that Boy Child was the Child of the Divine Mystery, and He came into the world for love of us all.
I believe He came to bring healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, freedom, and peace.
I believe He also came to invite everyone to forget themselves and remember the needs of others. For me, the religious meaning of Christmas is a source of deep joy.
-"Saint Nicholas"

No crass commercialism there!
Atch 20 | 3,875
6 Dec 2016 #30
America may be the soruce of today's crass Christmas commericlaism

You're not being fair Polly. Alongside its consumerism, America is one of the most charitable and generous nations on earth. Yes many people will indulge in Christmas excess but many will also give their time or their money or both for the benefit of others during the festive season. Poland would do well to take a leaf out of America's book in that department. Americans of all income levels give with enormous generosity throughout the year but the stats show that they give even more in the period from Thanksgiving to New Year.

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