Saturday, December 6, 2008

Feast of St. Nicholas

This is one of my favorite feast days of the whole year. As I wrote last year, when I was growing up we always had chocolate by our plates at breakfast following a custom that my mother grew up with. Decades later when I was doing family history research, I discovered that her German grandfather was named Nicholas. This clinched my love for this saint.

In many European countries this is the day when children receive their presents. They put out their shoes or stockings to be filled with small toys and treats. If they have been good this is what they will receive. If they have been bad, Krankus, who accompanies St. Nicholas, leaves sticks and lumps of coal. I never heard of Krankus until I was well into middle-age.

A great link for St. Nicholas lore and celebrations is the St. Nicholas Center ( which for some reason I cannot make come up in a link today. It is in the links list of my Squidoo lens on St. Nicholas, however.

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