Part of learning another language is learning some of the culture that goes along with it. For our German enrichment, and just for plain old fun, we celebrate Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, each year.
These pictures are from last year, since I didn't share them then and I don't have this year's downloaded from the camera yet. (Strangely convenient how that worked out.) I also didn't talk about it last year, so since this is Wordless Wednesday, you can skip the chatter and just look at the pictures or you can hear me out. I'll be brief!
Empty boots go outside the door the night of December 5 (or, in some regions, December 6 — there's a charming row about it on this page in the comments; I swear I'm not the Lauren who's yelling at one of the other commenters).
Mikko was three years old last year, and he was hesitant about this whole Nikolaus thing. We later learned the confusion stemmed from some misunderstandings: He thought his boots were being stolen by this boy Nick from his preschool. He was quite surprised and pleased to open the door and find his boots still there, and indeed, filled with presents! Nick's a nice kid after all.
When I lived in Berlin in junior high, I always spent the night before Nikolaustag with a German friend and her family. Her mom did Nikolaustag up right! Just like us here, they also lived in a unit in a larger building so our boots (or shoes) just went in the hallway instead of outside — but Nikolaus always found us, anyway. And he never gave us switches! Woot.
Usual gifts are fruit, cookies, candies, and little trinkets — much like a stocking. Kids are theoretically supposed to shine their boots first, but fire boots don't shine very well.
I forgot about Nikolaustag till the last minute (yes, that happened again this year) so bought all my gifts at the grocery store. These were hilarious grow sponges that were slimy and disgusting and a big hit.
Cultural success! Give it a try with your kids next year (or tonight — I won't tell!).
You'll also love this week's photos on the topic of Healthy Snacking over at Natural Parents Network! (Well, of course, it is — after I show a Wordless Wednesday of giving my three-year-old a Pez dispenser. However, you can see Mikko eating something slightly more virtuous if you click on over.)
at my super-cool collection of Wordless Wednesday linkies,
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