Sicorra at Tackling our Debt has brought together over 20 bloggers to share a special post today about our best Christmas childhood memories.
For me, Christmas is only three days away. My father’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Instead, on the 6th of December, we celebrate St Nicholas. He is believed to be the original Santa Claus.
The story says that on a cold winter night, St Nicholas, who was a bishop, was walking home, when he heard the scream of three little boys coming from the butcher shop. Intrigued, he came in and found the three boys in the cellar, they had been cut into pieces by the butcher and left buried in salt, to serve as meat for the customers. St Nicholas, by a miracle, managed to put the children back together and took them home.
He is said to be accompanied by his donkey, and the evil butcher called Père Fouettard who would flog children with a whip if they behave badly. Saint Nicholas brings well behaved children an orange (a rare treat in the European winter) and bad children a piece of charcoal. He is still celebrated in Nordic countries, Belgium, Germany, and the North of France. There are processions with the three protagonists in the streets, and they throw candy at children. You can find more about St Nicholas here. He is the patron and protector of children.
Saint Nicholas, bringing gifts to children.
My favorite memory is putting carrots and swedes by the chimney so the donkey could eat. There was a glass of milk for St Nicholas too. Then we would go play somewhere else, because you don’t want to bother a tired donkey and a busy gift bearing saint.
Then, a bell would ring. That was it! Presents were there!! We came back to the living room to find half eaten carrots and swedes, and a lot of presents. The bishop was represented by Saint Nicholas shaped chocolate, we also got some vegetable shaped marzipan to represent the donkey.
I liked having two Christmas in my childhood, and now realize that it is also very convenient for the our in-laws who do not have to split agenda and try to be everywhere on Christmas day.
As a kid,
my grandfather Saint Nicholas would call me a month or so before December 6th and ask if I had been good (of course!) and what present I wanted. Each of my 10 cousins got one present. As we grew older, presents were replaced by experiences. My grandfather would take all of us to a museum, or the opera, and then we would have dinner at a great restaurant. I remember those Christmas present even more fondly now because my grandparents aren’t around anymore, and they left all of us with wonderful memories.
What are your best Christmas memories?