Sunday, December 7, 2008
December sixth is Saint Nicholas day in many countries around the world (december fifth in the Netherlands). In the US the tradition is only observed by some people, mostly Catholics. Finding the Saint Nicholas cookie cutters too late on a website to have them delivered, I decided to shape some homemade speculaas dough by hand. With a bit of imagination, you can recognise a bearded man, with a miter, bishopsrobes, and a staff in his hand.
On the evening of December fifth everyone puts their shoes in front of the fireplace and in the morning, the good Saint leaves candy and small gifts. Joseph received a little nativity scene and a pair of boots to use in Belgium at Christmas, mommy a knitting book and daddy a calender and a few cans of imported nalu.
We were extremely lucky to have a REAL Saint Nicholas near us. The local Orthodox Church has a yearly festival for this advent Saint. With the blessing of the local bishop The Reverend Father Thomas Moore is Saint Nicholas for one day. In memory of the Saints generosity, the children get one gold Chocolate coin, and on my request, Father blessed our Joseph. Unfortunately the only picture I managed to snap had Joseph looking the other way.
If you are ever near Columbia around this time of the year, come and visit. The festival is small, but wonderful!