In the midst of focusing on the Advent Calendar in my daily labour of Aquazone Breakfast News comics, it's easy to remember that it's Advent, the liturgical season that prepares for Christmas. Less easy to remember is that today, as December 6th, is a gift-giving religious holiday of its own.
St. Nicholas is well known, of course, for being Santa Claus, via his Dutch name of Sinterklaas, and it is on his feastday, December 6th, that Dutch children traditionally received presents, not Christmas. As a Dutch Catholic on my father's side, I belong to a family that made an effort to commemorate the day over the years. We never did anything too fancy, but we would get one medium-to-small present, and it usually marked the approximate time for putting up the Christmas decorations. It had the added bonus of helping satiate our desire as kids for presents, and at an age when Christmas seemed YEARS off from the start of Advent, it was a welcome moment of rest during the long wait.
As such, it was the third most prominent LEGO-receiving day during my childhood, after Christmas and my birthday. Not that I got LEGO every year, but even with a total of three or four years, that was more than Hallowe'en, Easter, Valentine's Day, Canada Day, or Labour Day could ever say.
The first LEGO set I ever got for St. Nicholas Day has already made an appearance on this blog. Sixteen years ago to the day, I got my first Aquazone set--and in light of the Breakfast News strips running, it's kind of amazing to see how I've had Aquazone for sixteen years. If my Aquashark were a child, he could get his driver's licence.
Other sets I got over the years included my only set of Town roadplates, my second Star Wars set, and two Creator buckets.