Friday, December 07, 2007

st. nicholas' little secret

new pajamas

When then girl was wee and it first occurred to me to observe St. Nicholas Day, we simply transferred the usual Christmas stocking tradition to the 6th of December. This worked quite well when she was younger, as our insular little family unit was even more insular than we are now. Which is to say, that a two or three or four year old isn't so much aware of traditions beyond her own home. But as she got older, there seemed need to explain that, no, not every kid wakes up on St. Nicholas day to a stocking full of little gifts. Also, as the years have progressed, I'm finding that I'm less enthusiastic and organized and not so likely to be right on top of things enough to even open up the Christmas box and find the stockings and get that going as early as the first week of December. It became apparent a few years ago that our newly made tradition was losing steam. So we moved the whole Stocking idea back up to the twenty-fifth and our St. Nicholas Day "celebrations" have consisted of baking cookies (mostly) and saying, "hey, it's St. Nicholas Day" (well, except that one year we forgot all together). We tried to make a point of having our tree up and decorated by that date, but our tree cutting trip we attempted last weekend was waylaid by a tired boy who insisted, despite my promise of fun and running and outside and all things he loves, that it was naptime. So we don't even have a tree yet. But yesterday I gave the children new pajamas, in honor of the kindness and warmth of the original St. Nick, and the reaction was so much better and more appreciative and glad than anything little we could have shoved down into a sock or anything sweet for our bellies. My kids love pajamas. Well, my girl loves pajamas and my boy loves what his big sister loves. Just over a year ago, I thrifted the most awesome pair of cotton percale classic-style pajamas for my girl, orange and red with tiny kitchen implements all over them. They were in great shape when I found them but she's worn them threadbare since. I've been on the lookout for similar pajamas, you know, button-down, collars, pockets, cuffs, piping. The thrift store favorites are French and too expensive to buy new. Do you know how hard it is to find classic cotton pajamas for children which are *not* treated with chemicals? Go ahead, give it a try. I won't wait for you. Thanks to the consumer product safety commission, unless kid pajamas are "snug-fitting" they have to be treated with slow igniting carcinogens. Which I think is awesome and comforts me every time I send them to bed with a lit candle. Geez. Somebody needs to let the cpsc know that children sleep in what is comfortable, with or without a designated "pajama" label. Oh, no, wait don't tell them or pretty soon all store-bought garments will be treated with flame retardant. In the meantime, I'll just wink and pretend that "loungewear" are only for lounging.


Angelina said...

I love those classic pajamas. I used to wear them to school when I was fifteen, with pearls.

The flame retardant chemicals seem really creepy to me. I am bothered by all the chemicals that fabric is treated with.

It can't be good for either kid's long term health or the environment.

Lisa said...

Cute pajamas. We have a tradition here that the girls each get a pair of pajamas and a new Christmas book (one for the whole family to share and save), all of which they get to open on Christmas Eve. This is something that they really look forward to every year. Who knew that it could be so simple to excite my children?