Dec 5, 2012

The Feast of Saint Nicholas

Tonight, December 5, is 
St. Nicholas Eve 
as tomorrow is
 the Feast of St. Nicholas!

My husband grew up in the Rhineland, Germany. For him this was the night that he and his brother, together with all German children, put their shoes at their bedroom door, in hopes that St. Nicholas would fill them with treats and goodies during the night while they slept.

 If they were not well behaved, then they would find coal in their respective shoes in the morning.

Does this story sound familiar?

Well, it is, of course, because our Santa and Germany's St. Nicholas are one and the same. . . with American modifications, of course!

When our sons were young, we continued the German tradition. They placed their shoes at their bedroom door on this very night. I might add that they selected the biggest shoes that they owned.

Occasionally, they would find licorice in their shoes (our version of coal.)  But there were always goodies also, so that no eyes would be brimming with tears in the morning.

We kept the treats simple. Seasonal fruits, German holiday candies and a small toy.  Our sons called this celebration 'Little Christmas' and they said that it was their warmup for the arrival of you-know-who later this month.

Now our boys are young adults and we have no small shoes to fill with goodies tonight. The memories will have to do.

I am very grateful, however, that I have had the wonderful opportunity to share with our children the holiday customs of their Dad's homeland.

Seems fitting to wish everyone a 
'Frohliche Weihnachten!'

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