Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Traditions of the Season – St Nikolaus Day

I'm guest blogging over at CKC today:
It’s the 6th December which means that children all across Germany are waking up to a boot full of chocolate and presents outside their front door after a visit from St Nikolaus (and maybe even a few “big children *wink*). Hopefully! Of course, if they’ve not been good, they might go outside to find nothing but coal and sticks in their boots instead. But since when have children at this time of year ever really found themselves on the naughty list?!?

You can read about the origins of St Nikolaus across the German speaking world here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Nikolaus) but many see this figure as the origin of our English speaking world Father Christmas or Santa Claus. This original figure was a bishop from today’s Turkey called Nikolas of Myra who had a reputation for secret gift giving. I even read somewhere that he was very shy and used to climb up on the roofs and drop sliver coins down the chimney for the poor people below. I’m always fascinated to see where our Anglo-Saxon customs originated from.

My first Christmas in Germany was a cultural experience for me with so many traditions totally different to what I was used to in the UK. And after 10 years here, I’m still learning! I remember my husband being very disappointed to find that St Nikolaus had “forgotten” him that first year so it’s something I try to remember to celebrate every year, even in a small way.

Over the years, we have cherry-picked the customs from both our backgrounds that we like the most and have created our own form of the festive season which is a lot of fun. And I know that most families out there have one or two individual little traditions that might come from their ancestors or have just developed over the years. Don’t forget that these are important to document in our scrapbook pages. Is it food you always eat? Presents you always exchange? Things from other cultures or countries? Perhaps something really quirky that’s unique to you. Or maybe there’s a new tradition you’d like to introduce to your own family?

Here’s my St Nikolaus page that I made to capture a few thoughts about our special day including the first one we celebrated together.

I used Sketch Support  One Page Sketch #15 (http://www.sketchsupport.com/2011/11/one-page-week-part-6-guest-designer.html)  and some rather older Cosmo Cricket, Jolly By Golly papers for this simple page. Great to allow these papers and product to get an airing!

Why not give it a try and create a page about one of your cultural or family customs?


  1. I learned a lot in this post today. I didn't realize you'd been in Germany that long. Any only forgetting one year is pretty good in my book - I've been meaning to start some kind of tradition on this day with my son who has the same name, and I never seem to get it done, and now he's grown.

  2. Always enjoyable to learn different customs

  3. We have done this for a few years now and the kids still can't get over how Santa gets their shoes!

    They were a little disappointed when I said they couldn't eat the chocolate at 6am today.

  4. Such a wonderful tradition, my friend Stella sent me a big chocolate letter D to celebrate St Nikolaus. Beautiful LO.xxx

  5. I love this tradition! My German relatives all did this custom and I enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you for sharing this Lisa!

  6. How fun. I love hearing of other countries traditions. Love the layout. Love the Cosmo Cricket paper. So pretty.

  7. Nice post! It's always interesting to find out about Christmas in another country.

  8. ps I love the new Christmas blog look

  9. Loving your new blog look. And your traditions LO. I'm thinking along the lines of a "Christmas Traditions, also known as what-decorations-go-where" mini-book...

  10. Gorgeous LO - especially love your letters. I think St Niklaus is a lovely tradition.

  11. I miss this tradition! Growing up, we always put our boots outside the door, just haven't gotten back in the habit of celebrating St. Nikolaus Day with my girls...I always remember AFTER the day.

  12. Heidi6:35 am

    Lisa - your blog is so beautiful :) :) miss you and hope you are well!!!! I'm off to bed. No time at the table. Busy making popcorn balls for grade 2 holiday parties ;) and chasing a 4 yo. And trying to shop online for our families. EEK!!!! I'm behind -- still! :)


I love comments! Thanks for taking the time. <3 <3 <3


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