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St. Nicholas Day


JumpyTheFrog
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My children go to a saturday German school. For them they celebrate by putting their shoes outside the class door and then they get filled with candy and treats (orange is normally in there). We don't really celebrate at home but I have thought about it. However DH and I got married December 6 so that just makes it weird. 

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My kids still leave wooden shoes outside their doors. I fill them with unusual candy (because St Nicholas doesn't go to our usual stores, lol), always including a chocolate Father Christmas (not as fat as Santa) and chocolate coins. When kids were young, I left leaves and twigs by the shoes to prove that St Nicholas really had come in from outside.

 

We also have some kids books about St Nicholas. And the kids used to do a tiny play (about three minutes long, if that). Ds, dressed in a cape and a homemade mitre, threw some coins into a house (box with cutout windows) where dd was. We got a crozier top from the St Nicholas Center.

 

I bake pfeffernusse and gingerbread in the shape of a bishop and have a nice dinner.

 

Check out the St Nicholas Center, wealth of info.

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The kids leave their shoes by the window on the evening of the 5th and they find them filled with holiday-themed candy, including chocolate coins, and sometimes a small gift.

 

Then we have a special German dinner - usually Sauerbraten, potato dumplings, red cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts, with a German apple cake (we save the lebkuchen for Christmas Eve).

 

But. Since our oldest hit college age, we often reschedule our dinner until all the kids can be home, if possible. This year we are planning for the 9th instead. But the kids still at home won't have to wait for their shoes to be filled - St. Nicholas is still coming tonight!

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I grew up putting my shoes outside my bedroom door and then getting some treats and toys filled the next morning. With our kids I switched to doing our stockings that day. We usually put in there some treats, school supplies and a small toy. Things I’d typically put into their stockings anyway. We also read about st nikolas each year and since mine are still young they like watching the veggie tales.

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I think the shoes are traditional but we have little bags we hang outside (and we do it twice - for St. Martin and St. Nick). When I was a child "St. Nick" would knock on the door in the evening when the treats were in the bag. In some families St. Nick comes to the door and does a naughty/nice kind of thing (often that also happens at schools/nursery schools) and gives the treats. I would have been terrified though to see him! Anyway, for us the knocking didn't work (single parent) so the treats just come over night and the kids get them the next morning (so my kids actually get the treats on the 7th). Generally some candy, nuts, tangerines, and one or two smaller presents (e.g. book, small game, new markers, craft supplies etc.)

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The kids leave their shoes by the window on the evening of the 5th and they find them filled with holiday-themed candy, including chocolate coins, and sometimes a small gift.

 

Then we have a special German dinner - usually Sauerbraten, potato dumplings, red cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts, with a German apple cake (we save the lebkuchen for Christmas Eve).

 

But. Since our oldest hit college age, we often reschedule our dinner until all the kids can be home, if possible. This year we are planning for the 9th instead. But the kids still at home won't have to wait for their shoes to be filled - St. Nicholas is still coming tonight!

I love your German dinner menu.

 

ETA

I've never cooked sauerbraten. I see it has to marinate awhile, so not for this year. :-(

 

Does this recipe sound ok?

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/221361/traditional-sauerbraten/

Edited by Alessandra
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D'oh! It snuck up on me this year. We normally do chocolate coins in shoes, but I don't know how I'm going to acquire them at the 11th hour. I normally have to do a bit of hunting around here.

 

I'm bummed.  I went to the store today to get the chocolate coins and they didn't ahvet them! but they did have chocolate "dollars" so I guess that is going to have to work. I think I probably could have found them if I'd tried the dollar store but I wasn't dragging the baby to yet another place. 

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Mini stockings get hung on door knobs with small, edible treats.  It's also traditionally the day that we decorate the Christmas tree, so the kids all have ornaments to open.  These come from parents/grandparents, but St. Nicholas "sets them out" by their doors with their stockings.

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St Nicholas Day is the day we do our presents (long story why).

 

The kids put out their shoes by our fireplace.  In the morning they are filled with clementines, gingerbread men, chocolate coins, candy canes and any other candy dh picks up. They are surrounded by presents.

 

Then we have cinnamon buns (and eggs for the low carbers) and bacon or sausage.

 

It's so much fun!

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St Nicholas leaves Christmas stuff in our kids shoes because I lived in Germany and St Nicholas used to visit me during that time, so it’s a fun tradition to continue and what kid is going to turn it down!

 

My kids usually get Christmas socks, earrings, etc... in their shoe so they can use it during Christmas time. This year, the older kids got their stuff during Thanksgiving break. Ds wanted a new hat, so I ordered the one he wanted and told him that was his St Nicholas Day gift (would have been a stocking stuffer, but he wanted it asap). I got the older girls Christmas colored (burgundy, green, and cream colors) boot socks that happened to match their outfits they wore on Thanksgiving, so I just gave them the socks then so they could wear them. Youngest dd is getting Xmas socks, penguin gloves, and a Wellie Wisher gingerbread house (so she can use it during the Christmas season). In the past, she has been given Christmas themed Playmobil like the three wisemen to go with the nativity set. I pack up Christmas toys and just bring them out after Thanksgiving, so no sense waiting until Christmas to give that kind of stuff.

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My people get a new Christmas ornament each year on St Nicholas Day. We also do the chocolate coins, and I make a coffee cake and shape it like a bishop's crook.

That’s a good idea! That way the ornament can be used right away rather than when they get it on

Christmas, it’s not used until the next year.

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St Nicholas Day is the day we do our presents (long story why).

 

The kids put out their shoes by our fireplace. In the morning they are filled with clementines, gingerbread men, chocolate coins, candy canes and any other candy dh picks up. They are surrounded by presents.

 

Then we have cinnamon buns (and eggs for the low carbers) and bacon or sausage.

 

It's so much fun!

Are you up to sharing the long story? Guessing you don’t have time tonight with all the prep, but I’d love to hear how this came to be.

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I fill them with unusual candy (because St Nicholas doesn't go to our usual stores, lol), always including a chocolate Father Christmas (not as fat as Santa) and chocolate coins.

My kids like

Riegelein St. Nicholas Foil Milk Chocolate https://www.worldmarket.com/product/riegelein-st-nicholas-foil-milk-chocolate.do

Milk Chocolate Euro Coins https://www.worldmarket.com/product/milk-chocolate-euro-coins.do

 

Their Saturday German school will buy these Pfeffernüsse for their annual Christmas party.

 

Wicklein Iced Gingerbread Pfeffernusse Cookies https://www.worldmarket.com/product/wicklein+iced+gingerbread+pfeffernusse+cookies.do

Bahlsen Pfeffernüsse https://www.worldmarket.com/product/bahlsen-pfeffernuesse-set-of-2.do

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When I was an exchange student in Switzerland (German-speaking part if that matters), I woke up to find mandarins, chocolate (a globe type thing that I saw in all the chocolate shops at Christmas time), and a Swatch in my shoes.  It was such a nice surprise. :)

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I'm bummed. I went to the store today to get the chocolate coins and they didn't ahvet them! but they did have chocolate "dollars" so I guess that is going to have to work. I think I probably could have found them if I'd tried the dollar store but I wasn't dragging the baby to yet another place.

We did actual cash one year. Oops.

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My kids finally agreed to doing our stockings on St. Nicholas day instead of Christmas. They dislike change and last year they didn't want to. So I had to run out last second and grab some candy and stocking stuffers.

 

We also read about his life and our church has a service.

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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My kids finally agreed to doing our stockings on St. Nicholas day instead of Christmas. They dislike change and last year they didn't want to. So I had to run out last second and grab some candy and stocking stuffers.

 

We also read about his life and our church has a service.

 

CaliforniaDreaming, we do shoes tonight that have chocolate coins, a mandarin, a small icon and a small gift in them in the morning, and still do traditional stockings on Christmas eve (welllll, truth be told, at 4am when we get home form church, LOL).  Those stockings tend to have a few more things in them, but nothing extravagant. These Christmas morning stockings have never been about Santa Claus for us (even before we were Orthodox), they're just a stocking with some fun small things in it. 

Edited by milovany
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I love your German dinner menu.

 

ETA

I've never cooked sauerbraten. I see it has to marinate awhile, so not for this year. :-(

 

Does this recipe sound ok?

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/221361/traditional-sauerbraten/

 

That method is close to how I do it. I use a pkg of spices and I boil the marinade first. And I use more or less ginger snaps depending on how sour it comes out. Sometimes I add some extra brown sugar. My mil preferred white vinegar to wine vinegar and/or wine so that is what I use.

 

The brand I usually use is Alba but it is hard to find. http://www.germandeli.com/Alba-Sauerbraten-Spices-10g  When I am out (I only have one left) next year I plan to try the one from the Spice House - https://www.thespicehouse.com/sauerbraten-blend-of-whole-spices

 

I'm picking up my meat tomorrow...but now it looks like I may not actually make it until the 23rd. My kids need to make up their minds becasue this is not something I can make at the last minute!

 

 

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My kids like

Riegelein St. Nicholas Foil Milk Chocolate https://www.worldmarket.com/product/riegelein-st-nicholas-foil-milk-chocolate.do

Milk Chocolate Euro Coins https://www.worldmarket.com/product/milk-chocolate-euro-coins.do

Their Saturday German school will buy these Pfeffernüsse for their annual Christmas party.

Wicklein Iced Gingerbread Pfeffernusse Cookies https://www.worldmarket.com/product/wicklein+iced+gingerbread+pfeffernusse+cookies.do

Bahlsen Pfeffernüsse https://www.worldmarket.com/product/bahlsen-pfeffernuesse-set-of-2.do

Thank you. World Market is not on my radar -- I'd only been there once before. I already had Lindt chocolate Santa/St Nicholas and 'coins of the world' from Trader Joe's. But coins that aren't Hanukkah gelt can be hard to find, so it is good to have a source -- WM had giant baskets of them. I bought some other German chocolates and will go back before Christmas for more.

 

Pfeffernusse -- I will be making these today, along with gingerbread cookies in bishop shape.

 

  

That method is close to how I do it. I use a pkg of spices and I boil the marinade first. And I use more or less ginger snaps depending on how sour it comes out. Sometimes I add some extra brown sugar. My mil preferred white vinegar to wine vinegar and/or wine so that is what I use.

 

The brand I usually use is Alba but it is hard to find. http://www.germandeli.com/Alba-Sauerbraten-Spices-10g  When I am out (I only have one left) next year I plan to try the one from the Spice House - https://www.thespicehouse.com/sauerbraten-blend-of-whole-spices

 

I'm picking up my meat tomorrow...but now it looks like I may not actually make it until the 23rd. My kids need to make up their minds becasue this is not something I can make at the last minute!

Oh, thank you. Alton Brown had a recipe with more spices than the first recipe, but not as many as the Spice House. I actually have all the spices except cassia, but what a pain it would be to put all those together. My mother made sauerbraten occasionally, but I don't think it was authentic, not so many spices. I was going to order from the Spice House yesterday, but didn't get to it, so timing is great. Thx!

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We live in Germany now.  Last Friday, teams of dressed up local teens went from house to house all through our village!  This was our first occasion, so I bet we did things oddly, but it was fun.  

 

There were four young men: St Nickolas, two as Schwartz Piet, and one as a priest carrying a large ornate book.  The costumes were high-quality and official, and St. Nickolas had a huge staff with a bell that clanged all the way down the street.  The Schwartz Piets were VERY blackened, even the hands - I bet they spent hours getting that off later; one of them gave us a big handful of peanuts.  The priest had white paint on his face.  St. Nick inquired whether the kids had been good, and when I joked, "Mostly," he asked me what that meant very seriously.  He asked if our daughter had a song to sing, but she doesn't know it yet, so she sang Silent Night, and he seemed ok with that.  We served them cookies, which I don't think they ate.

 

I've been reading about the traditions, and the black-face thing is becoming more controversial over here.  I can't find out what was with the peanuts, or why the priest was extra-whitened.  There have been other odd things that would be considered racially charged in the US, which have made our bi-racial family open our eyes wider. 

 

We were weird Americans, probably not for the first or last time. 

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