Sunday, December 5, 2010

St. Nicholas

Lieber guter Weihnachtsmann,
sieh mich nicht so böse an.
Stecke deine Rute ein,
will auch immer artig sein.

In Germany, Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5 December to 6 December. In many European Countries he is related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts.

St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (Rute) in their boots instead.

At times sometimes a person disguised Nikolaus would visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they have been good (sometimes ostensibly checking his golden book for their record), handing out presents on a per-behaviour basis. Growing up we would recite poems or play an instrument as a sign of appreciation, gratitude and yes we have been oh so good... what have you brought us?

For more on his history go toSt. Nicholas Center