On December 5, children all over Germany polish their boots and set them out for St. Nicholas to come. He usually brings clementines, nuts, chocolate and/or a small gift. Then on December 6, the Feast of St. Nicholas, the kids wake up early and run to their boots. My kids, even though they are both old enough to know about the historical St. Nicholas and don't believe that he actually comes, eagerly got their boots ready. My son actually put his whole boot under the water faucet, completely drenching it, so that it was too wet to wear the next day.: )
|Nikolaus brought the kids clementines, chocolate and new colored pencils!|
|They got up extra early to check their boots!|
In Germany, St. Nicholas and "Der Weihnachtsmann" (Santa Claus) are two different people. I am always met with blank stares when I try to explain to German friends that they have melded into the same person in American pop culture. I appreciate the distinction, because the story of Nicholas of Myra is an inspiring one that I don't want to get lost among Santa, Rudolph and company.