In Germany the night of December 5 families leave their slippers out on the front doorstep for Saint Nicholas to fill. All good children will get slippers filled with nuts, fruits and candies and the naughty children will get a branch in their slipper. This night is the night where Saint Nick checks his “golden book” which is what we have come to know as the naughty or nice list. The slippers on the doorstep is a tradition we have translated into stockings here in America. However, in my family we have kept up with the tradition of Saint Nicholas Day. I explained the importance of the day and it’s tradition to my boyfriend, Josh who traditionally has been quite a grinch in previous years to the extent of refusing to even decorate for Christmas. To my surprise he went to the extent of not just filling my slippers with traditional nuts, fruit, and chocolates but he even somehow (and I still cannot quite figure out how he found the time away from me or where he went to get it) found a traditional Hallmark ornament of himself, The Grinch to represent how I use to get an ornament every year on this night from Saint Nicholas. Traditionally my siblings and I always received ornaments for our individual Christmas trees (yes, we pretty much all had our own). Growing up – Marni’s theme was always houses, Josh had a theme of forest animals, Julie had a theme of bears, and my theme became snowmen. In recent years my theme has become the Hallmark Doorways Around the World which they did not create this year so the Grinch is perfect for us – it represents the year perfectly and how JM has really brought himself into the spirit of Christmas.
In the morning, as I bat my eyelashes into a near awareness of the day, I realized like a child that Saint Nicholas must have come because I had set my slippers outside my bedroom door like Josh had asked me to. I went to the bathroom and rubbed my eyes into streaks of eyeliner and raced out of the bedroom like a child, leaping around chanting “Santa came! Santa came!!!!” The night before I had left a note on the ground just like I did as a child, with some goodies. The sticky note simply read “For Santa.” Somewhat smarter than when I was 5 or 6, I know that my Santa despises chocolates so I left him with some peanuts and dry fruit. The gesture left me embarrassed and shy, but just as excited. I fell to the floor around the corner of my bedroom doorway to explore the remnants of Santa’s goodies. He ate them all! My slippers were BURSTING with goodies which is great because I need them to be stretched to my size. The little penguin faces on my slippers were beaming with hidden Dove chocolates and fat Walnuts. How exciting! I began to dig in like a child exclaiming, “Did you know Dove chocolates have notes inside of them.” I wondered where Santa had gotten all of these goodies. He’s been so sneaky this year. Josh and I sat together on the floor while I dove into Dove and insisted Santa did an amazing job, all while hugging him. This may very well be the first happy Christmas I have had in 12 years.
I hope Santa flies Delta