On December 6 – the feast of St. Nicholas – we had an in-store celebration here at Aquinas and More. We invited local customers, children and their parents from local Catholic schools and churches, and local homeschoolers, and ended up with a pretty good turnout. This was the first time we've had an in-store event like this, and we were pleased with the results. In keeping with the spirit of St. Nicholas, who never failed to help out anyone in need, we asked that, if they could, people who came bring a can (or more) of food to be donated to a local soup kitchen, and anyone who did so received 10% off of their purchases that day. We ended up filling a bin with donated food items.
Obviously, the highlight for the children who came was hearing St. Nicholas read them stories. He also gave out presents, and the children got chocolate coins and candy canes as well.
We offered hot cider and cookies to those who came in the store that day. We also had two prizes to give away, in addition to the free giveaways we had – one prize for a child (who had to guess the number of mini candy canes in a jar), and one for an adult. The child who was the closest to the actual number with her candy cane guess won a DVD of Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa. St. Nicholas himself called to tell her she had won, and she was thrilled to get a call from him!
There are things we will probably do differently next time we have an event like this, but we hope to do this again, possibly for even more saints and feasts throughout the year. It's a fun way to be involved in the liturgical feasts (especially for children), beyond simply reading about them.