|St. Nicholas, Christkindl Market, Kitchener 2011
I looked at my footwear and decided there was nothing suitable for storing things I would later eat. Then I cleaned one Croc with a disinfectant wipe and checked to see what might fit in it. My size nine shoe held (with difficulty) one clementine, a small package of pistachios and one chocolate bar. No wonder St. Nicholas has such a small bag. The real St. Nicholas gained a reputation for gift-giving by putting coins in other people's shoes. Perhaps coins are a better idea than food or small toys.
I shared the picture of this card from Grandma's Christmas scrapbook a couple of years ago. In 1907 St. Nicholas was evolving into Santa Claus in North America with a more colourful costume and bigger presents. He certainly is very fit as he appears to be walking to deliver gifts rather than riding through the sky in a sleigh.
It is interesting to learn about Christmas traditions in other countries. St. Nicholas and related (caucasian) benevolent gift givers are not celebrated everywhere in the world. I like this quote from Dick Gregory, a black American comedian and social activist.
"I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew
no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark."
To those who believe...
HaPpY Saint Nicholas Day!