As long as a child believes in St. Nicholas, that is, that he is real, he is not only someone who fills the boots with gifts and sweets on the night of December 5 to 6, but also a respected person. Someone that parents like to use as an excuse for misbehavior. Someone who takes note of such lapses and then determines the measure of the gifts. But you can also appease him and change his mind by singing a St. Nicholas song or reciting a poem on the evening before December 6. In spite of everything, the reverence for St. Nicholas remains until older siblings or classmates tell you that it is the parents who are behind everything and that St. Nicholas does not exist.
Knecht Ruprecht - the one for the rough stuff
Always in the entourage of St. Nicholas is Knecht Ruprecht. He is by no means as mild and gentle as his boss. He always has to get involved when children have been really naughty. If the parents brought Knecht Ruprecht into play, then one knew that one had quite bad cards. Then the legendary rod was threatened, which naughty children deserved. But in the end, it always turned out well. When you woke up on St. Nicholas Day and looked full of excitement into the boots that had been provided, you knew that you had gotten away with a suspended sentence, so to speak.
St. Nicholas as a harbinger for Santa Claus?
That’s how you always imagined it as a child. Because traditionally the gifts at St. Nicholas were much smaller than the Christmas gifts. A kind of tension booster. Because with the start of Advent, all children’s excitement about the coming Christmas increases and picks up again when it’s St. Nicholas. It always seemed as if St. Nicholas had been sent ahead. To check on the spot, how the situation is and whether the children deserve gifts for Christmas. Since so some child the fantasy goes through and one thinks out the most interesting things, if one occupies oneself with the St. Nicholas. Of course, the whole thing is amplified when the parents want to make clear to you at any noise that that was probably St. Nicholas, who is now gaining access to the house.
You can negotiate with parents, but not with St. Nicholas!
Somehow one was really relieved when one learned that St. Nicholas does not exist in reality, or rather he already lived in the 3rd century and today he is only the name giver for this event in Advent. Because as long as parents could use him for threats against children, one was really powerless. But when it became clear that the parents would fill the boots, the situation improved considerably. If then already times with smaller or missing St. Nicholas gifts were threatened, then one had up to the evening of 5 December still opportunity to show repentance or improvement or to convince the parents that one had nevertheless deserved gifts from St. Nicholas.
Where does St. Nicholas actually come from?
Unlike Santa Claus, St. Nicholas embodies a real person who lived in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Namely, in what is now the territory of Turkey. Already at the age of 19 he received the ordination to the priesthood and from then on he was active as Nicholas of Myra. After the death of his parents, who died of plague, Nicholas inherited a considerable fortune. He used this fortune to help the poorest people around him. Today, St. Nicholas is one of the most popular saints in Christianity. As a priest, a bishop and a man, he spent his life helping the poor. For this reason, until the end of the Middle Ages, the feast of St. Nicholas was the biggest Christian gift-giving festival. And since St. Nicholas of Myra died on a December 6, this date is the official commemoration day for St. Nicholas and even today it is an occasion for many people to give each other presents.
Fascinating encounters with St. Nicholas
As a child, you often have a personal encounter with St. Nicholas in kindergarten, at school or even at home. It’s always very exciting when St. Nicholas suddenly appears in the flesh. You suddenly get mixed feelings – between excitement, worry and joyful anticipation. Worry, above all, because St. Nicholas comes to talk about things that were not good in the past. And joyful anticipation because he has his famous St. Nicholas bag with him and there will certainly be a gift in it. In any case, such an encounter with St. Nicholas is always very impressive for children. And for parents, these situations where the little ones stand in front of the man with the long white beard are always very touching and amusing. When the children’s eyes grow bigger and bigger because St. Nicholas actually knows everything about them, when the rod is raised threateningly and improvement is demanded for the future, and how the tension gives way to a cheerful glow when St. Nicholas, despite all the missteps, still pulls a gift out of the bag and hands it over to the little ones.
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Experiences that shape childhood - keep them alive with Meminto Stories
Anyone who has children has a lot to tell. There are many formative experiences during childhood. Encounters with St. Nicholas are among them. Some experiences fade with the passage of time. Details are forgotten, memories blur or disappear. It is best to write down everything that happens in the life of a child. But who does that, most of the time there is not enough time for it. And exactly this problem can be solved by Meminto Stories. Because with Meminto you can easily write books, for example childhood books. You only have to answer a question once a week. From your answers Meminto creates a book bit by bit. A real book, printed in high quality and with a hard cover. Then, even years later, you can still read about what it was like when St. Nicholas came. Then you don’t have to rummage around in your memories. And even if the children have long since grown up, they will certainly still like to take their childhood book in hand. Perhaps even to read to their own children.