On December 5th you’ll find children in Berlin and across other areas of Europe cleaning their shoes (usually their biggest pair or perhaps every pair in the house) with anticipation. Once the shoes are cleaned they are set outside their front door so that St. Nikolaus will come to fill them with fruit, nuts, candy and other small trinkets during the night. The traditions surrounding this day vary by what region you live in, but we did the holiday as advised by other German families in Berlin. In other areas of Europe this day is celebrated with boys dressing up as Bishops and then a parade through town in addition to the shoes, but not so here. In early November stores stock chocolate Santa’s in all sizes and you can take your pick of quality chocolate. I think it is a pretty good trade really- the kids clean their shoes only to have them filled with goodies. At least I am not the one scrubbing every pair until they look new again!
By the way the kids shoes looked on the morning of December 6th I assume they are not on the naughty list.
How is Nikolstag celebrated where you live?