December 6, is the St. Nicholas Day. In many cultures the custom is for the children to leave a pair of shoes out when they go to bed on December 5. In the morning, they find that St. Nicholas has visited and left them a small treat or token.
In his day, St. Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift giving, leaving money or food for the needy when they weren’t around. He is the origin of the Santa Claus tradition. You can use the tradition of leaving shoes out for St. Nicholas to talk about the saint and to discuss how we can help those in need in our community.
In our house, St. Nicholas leaves a few small pieces of candy and a couple of quarters for each child. This is not a large gift giving extravaganza. One year, my young children left all of their shoes out (four or five pair per child). They were hoping that in would result in an increase in loot. It did not, but I found their way of thinking creative!