Santa Claus is real. I know! Seriously!
He’s going under the name Nikolaus and looks pretty good for a man who is over 1670 years old!
Our Au Pair is from Bavaria and today we have celebrated with her the German tradition of Nikolaus. The story goes, Nikolaus was actually the Bishop of Myra (now part of modern day Turkey) who died on this day in 343. He became known for his secret good deeds, visiting people during the night and leaving gifts in peoples’ shoes.
To this day, German children still leave their shiniest shoes (dirty shoes are not permitted – It shows you have been bad) outside their doors on the night of Dec 5th, hoping that when they wake on Dec 6, Nikolaus will have visited and left them treats such as Walnuts, Mandarins and chocolate. However – if you have been a naughty child, you will be left a switch (a branch – presumably for spanking?).
Dear Nikolaus however, does not work alone. He has a “helper” known as Krampus. A hairy, horned creature, Krampus comes to frighten you into being a good boy or girl (and I tell you it would work for me!).
So we made ourselves a sign (translated just in case Nikolaus doesn’t speak English)
We shined our shoes
We lined them up and we waited.
And Look! Dear Nikolaus did come!
However someone wasn’t as lucky as others….Maybe that’s her cue to show a little more good behaviour from now on?!!