Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Traditions - St. Nikolaus's Boot

Although North America has adopted a lot of European Christmas traditions (Christmas tree, Advent Calendar etc...) one that didn't catch on was St. Nikolaus's boot. This is a tradition that lots of European countries have (in the Netherlands I think they use clogs).

On the evening of December 5th, St. Nikolaus came to your house and put something in your boot. If you were good it was a small treat. If you were bad it was a lump of coal or a switch to punish the kids. Yikes. I always got a treat :) .

My parents took it a step further... They had St. Nikolaus come every day between the 6th and the 23rd. I think it was their attempt to keep me in line for the weeks leading up to Christmas. But if I was bad, very seldom I might add, they wouldn't put anything in the boot. I'm glad they didn't go the switch route.

Sometimes my enthusiasm to see what St. Nikolaus got the better of me. To this day I remember the night when I was around 4 years old and I didn't go to sleep right away. I heard something at the door and when the coast was clear I peeked out. When I checked, there was something in the boot. My parents weren't too pleased about the initiative I showed. I didn't sneak a peek after that incident.

This was a really fun tradition and I still have the boot (above) that I used, more than 35 years ago, that my 4 year old uses today.

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