Willkommen Sie meinen Blog

Welcome to my Blog, I'm glad you stopped by. I thought a little introduction was in order after I reviewed some Blogs of others and didn't have a clue what it was their Blog was about even after reading the last several posts. Not that it matters, if you like what I write, read on, if not, no harm no foul.

I began writing again after one of my grad classes last summer inspired me to do so. It was a class on the world famous author, Stephen King and it was incredible. In 2011 I received my Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. My undergraduate degree is also from UNCW in Sociology with a minor in Gerontology which I obtained in 2005.

A lot has changed since I began writing this Blog in 2010. I am rediscovering who it is that I am and what makes me happy. Feel free to read through from the beginning and see where I have come from and continue to follow along as I begin a new chapter in my life, one that proves to be interesting and filled with exciting challenges that I can't wait to share with the World. So for now, "Das ist Leben"...this is life!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"St. Nicholas Tag"

The Original Santa Claus

Children (of all ages) love surprises and love Christmas. One tradition that is fun to celebrate with children young and old is St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas was the forerunner of Santa Claus and, like Santa Claus, secretly delivers gifts to good children as they sleep at night. Instead of Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas delivers his gifts on the night of December 5th which is the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas or St. Nicholas Day which is December 6th. Also, instead of a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, he travels on a horse.

Matt's St. Nicholas Boots

My younger sister, brother, and I, grew up celebrating this tradition and I wanted to keep it going even though we don't have children (although I swear sometimes my husband is actually my five-year-old). Matt was surprised with candied almonds, a rooster ornament, alpaca socks, a Gl├╝hwein mug, and a handmade wooden spoon...that last one may have been more for me ;P. A few days later we received a package from St. Nicholas that he left for us at my parents' house in North Carolina, we each received Hot Headz, just in time for the harsh winter months in Germany.

How to participate with your children:
On the evening of December 5th, place one of their shoes or slippers outside of their bedroom. You can also leave a carrot or apple in the shoe for St. Nick's horse (and maybe a cookie or two for St. Nick himself). After they are asleep, place a few pieces of candy, a simple little toy or trinket (something small like you get with a McDonald's Happy Meal), a gift certificate to their favorite fast food establishment, or similar little gift. This is not a big gift giving event. Keep it simple with the idea of simply adding a little extra cheer to the holiday season or breaking the daily routine in anticipation of Christmas. You don't want anything too elaborate because, more than likely December 6th will be a school day so you don't want to delay them with elaborate gifts or celebrating (although my Mom always did :).

It was the Dutch who brought the celebration of St. Nicholas Day to America. During the early days of the settlement of North America, the Dutch founded the colony of New Amsterdam at the mouth of the Hudson River where New York City stands today. In fact, New York City began as the Dutch city of New Amsterdam.

The Dutch name for St. Nicholas was Sinterklaas which morphed into Santa Claus. While in some countries St. Nicholas brings presents on Christmas Eve, in other countries, including Holland, he brings presents on the eve of his feast day. It was the 1822 poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clark Moore (also known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas"), that established the time of St. Nicholas' annual visit as being Christmas Eve in America. Moore is also responsible for changing St. Nicholas' mode of transportation from a horse to a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer. It wasn't too many years after the publication of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" that St. Nicholas evolved into the Santa Claus that we all know and love today.


1 comment:

  1. I put out the shoes & can't wait until tomorrow's glee. Thanks for the reminder that it is December 5th!