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06 December 2011

St. Nicholas Day

Every year, on the eve of December 6th children all over Germany put their shoes in front of their bedroom doors in hopes that St. Nicholas will bring them a little treat.  Maybe some chocolate or a little bit of candy.  Nothing too spectacular, just a little something for being good, polite and helpful throughout the year.

I grew up in a German household.  When I was a kid, or should I say, until I was 22 and moved out of my parents house, we would place our shoes in front of our bedroom doors and St. Nicholas would bring us some German chocolate.  Well, my house is no exception.  Tyler is now old enough to fully understand the meaning of the day and it's rewards.  Last night I explained to him about St. Nicholas and his servant, Knecht Ruprecht.  I told him that he needed to put his shoes in front of his bedroom door, and if he was good, St. Nicholas would put some candy or chocolate in his shoes!  But, if he had been bad, Knecht Ruprecht would either swat his bum bum with his stick or haul him off in his sack.  If you have read my previous post about Tyler getting into trouble at school, you could imagine he was a little concerned.

I put him to bed, and immediately I hear him scream "MOM!  I'M SCARED!"  I offered to leave the dog in his room.  Five minutes later "MOM!  I'M STILL SCARED!"  Now, Presley is awake again.  I leave his room and tell him he needs to close his eyes, and that he isn't allowed to scream anymore.  There is NOTHING to be afraid of!  I nurse Presley back to sleep, put her back in her crib and what do I hear... "(whispering)Mom, I'm still scared and I don't want to close my eyes!"  I peek into his room and poor Tyler is covered in his blankets, still as can be, eyes darting around the room in SHEER HORROR!

I asked him "Why are you scared!?"

He says "I don't want that man to come in my room and swat my bum bum!"

The same German stories that had once frightened me as a child to behave, are the same stories that are now haunting my very own children!  Success!  Are you going to think about not listening again!?  HELL NO!  Knecht Ruprecht will haul you off in his bag!  OK, I didn't really say those things.  But I definitely thought them!

Happy St. Nicholas day!

I swear the other shoe has something too!

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