Saint Nicholas Day/Feast of Saint Nicholas
It’s December! I can’t believe how this year has flown by. My mom came up with an idea this year of having a good old fashioned Christmas on the Island. A family member bought a cafe in Freeport, Nova Scotia on beautiful Long Island and it is not being used right now so we are going to get some family together and any local residents who want to join us and we are going to have a pot luck with Santa and Mrs. Claus and yes, yours truly and my husband are going to be Santa and Mrs. Claus
One of my favorite holiday traditions was something we did when I was a kid growing up in the mid to late 1980s on a Canadian Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen in Baden-Württemberg in what was then West Germany called Saint Nicholas Day or Feast of Saint Nicholas and especially the tradition pictured above (sort of) in which children put out their shoes on the evening of December 5th. This is a tradition that is common in many European Christian countries.
If I was a good girl that year then on the morning of December 6th I would wake up with my shoes filled with sweets. Usually an orange, some chocolate, and a candy cane or two. I would often find one or two little wooden Christmas tree ornaments like the ones shown below. My parents still have most of them. Apparently the tradition is bad little boys and girls would wake up with a lump of coal and they would know that they have to atone for whatever they did to cause them to get the lump of coal before Christmas (or at least that was what I was told about the tradition though I have heard much more sinister things as I have gotten older lol… google Krampus)
This is a tradition that I absolutely loved as a child and loved when I was older and the one filling the shoes for my little brother and watching his face light up when he found them on the morning of December the 6th. I even believe we put coal in his one year This is one tradition that I hope one day to pass down to my own children.
German Wooden Pyramids
We also had a second tradition coming from our time in Germany which was putting out and lighting pyramids, we had two or three of them. I believe my parents may still have one or maybe two of them. One was a 4 or 5 tier pyramid and the second I am pretty sure is the exact one shown below.
You would put these candles in the candle holders and as the candles heated up and the heat would rise the pyramid would slowly start turning. It was really beautiful and I would sit transfixed in the living room for hours as a youngster just watching it with the lights off and the pyramid causing colors and shadow on the ceiling. I loved it more than the Christmas tree. I can still smell the candles.
I remember often falling asleep on the couch and mom or dad carrying me to bed as I would not go until I allowed it to lull me to sleep. Both traditions are traditions my parents kept up when we came home from Germany for both myself and my brother who was not born until we were back in Canada (kinda). I plan to eventually order one from Germany. I found a YouTube video below of a pyramid. Our other pyramid looked a lot like the one in the video only it was I am pretty sure 4 (maybe 3 or 5) tiers. It was more than 2.
What are your favorite holiday traditions? Tell me in the comments below or post a link to a post on your own blog about your favorite holiday tradition(s).