Have you been good last year? Then put a boot outside your front door.
Each 6th December German children celebrate St Nikolaus. Children polish their boots (dirty boots are unacceptable) and put one boot (it would be considered greedy to put out two boots) called Nikolausstiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5th December. St Nikolaus fills the boot with small gifts and sweets overnight and checks up on the children if they were good during the last year. For naughty children, Nikolaus has a helper, Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert or Servant Rupert). Instead of presents, Knecht Ruprecht puts a bunch of dry branches in bad children's shoes. Sometimes a St Nikolaus impersonator visits schools or homes and asks children about their behaviour - checking his golden book for their record - and hands out presents.
Instead of putting your boot outside the door you can make your own as well though these remind me a bit more of Christmas stockings.
|Nikolausstiefel with some decorations|
|St Nikolaus giving presents to children. |
By Richard Huber (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
[via wikipedia.org, thelocal.de]