Half Moon Bay, California November 2012

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nicholas Day

Today Uncle Jim filled us in on St. Nicholas Day.  But you can read the details here.  before I go into details of that, we will start at the beginning...

In the morning, after we dropped off MG at school, we helped Uncle Jim and Aunt Clare put up the traditional tree outside.  Every year they have done this (for as long as we have known Jim and Clare).  The first time we helped them was when Matthew was barely 1 year old.  MG did most of the work by herself with Jim.  Well, today, the boys were able to continue the tradition with Jim and Clare!

Here they are placing in the correct spot outside the house:
 Auntie Clare helping to adjust the branches (and secretly checking to ensure it's where she wants it!):
Now time to add the lights: 
Almost done! 
 After school we returned and joined Uncle Jim for stories about St. Nicholas and a treat from Aunt Clare (home baked cookies and hot chocolate!).  Pat (our neighbor from across the street) was able to join us.  Clare had a doctor's appointment.  She would join us toward the end of the treat!
 Pat and Morgan listening to the story of how St. Nicholas was a generous man and how he helped 3 daughters from a poor family get married... he came to visit them in the night and put gold coins in their shoes.      So it was the shoes that began all the stockings that we use today!
Uncle Jim recalls that on St. Nicholas Day as a child, he was both excited and scared.  Excited because he knew St. Nicholas was going to deliver treats for all the boys and girls (candies, cookies, fruit).  Scared because he had a feeling that if he was naughty through the year, he would be picked up by St. Nicholas and was spanked.  (But he reassured the children that he was never spanked!).  One year he remembers at the family butcher shop, one of his cousins was scooped away by St. Nicholas and put in a bag.  That made him very nervous!  (I would be too!!!)
 It was a great story.  We also took turns suggesting Christmas carols to sing during our treats!
He focused on his treat more than the singing!  ;)

And he focused more on his chocolate milk more than the cookie!
Thank you Uncle Jim for passing your German tradition to us.  They children learned a lot!  Next???  Decorating their indoor Christmas tree!

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