|image courtesy of YouWall|
Tomorrow is Nikolaus, a German holiday that remembers the life of Nicholas of Myra. Nicholas was a Greek Christian Bishop known for giving gifts secretly, placing them in the boots of his recipients as they slept; today, he is the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants, and students. Though St. Nicholas and the man we know as Santa a.k.a. Father Christmas look similar, Germans make a clear distinction between the two so as not to lose site of the real reason Christmas is celebrated. Tonight before children in Germany go to bed, they'll put one of their boots or shoes out in front of the door. While they're are sleeping and if they've been good, St.Nicholas will fill their shoes with small treats. My boys love this little pre-Christmas cheer and I really appreciate how simple Germans keep it. Typical boot fillers are tangerines, walnuts, a couple chocolate bars, and small coins. So, if you're reading this and new to Germany, remember to put a boot out...you just might find treasures in it tomorrow!
For those of you reading from other countries, do you celebrate Nikolaus and/or December 6th? If so, how and what is the story behind it? For those of you reading in Germany, I'd love it if you'd share a favorite Nikolaustag memory of your own...Es kann auch auf deutsch sein!
Just two more candles to be lit...Hope your second Advent is a peaceful one.