Tuesday, December 8, 2009

St. Nick Night

Saturday night was St. Nicholas Night in Belgium!!!
Here, Santa Claus from the North Pole as we know him in the USA, doesn't really exist.
Instead St. Nicholas comes on his horse,
Amerigo, during the night of December 5. Children leave their shoes out along with carrots and sweets for the horse. And St. Nicholas leaves presents for the kids. On Christmas (December 25) it is more about family, food and celebrating Jesus' birth than a gift exchange. I think this tradition is a great one. So Saturday we had a festive night readying for St. Nicholas and Amerigo!

We put up Helene, our Christmas tree. Since we married Kirk and I have a tradition of naming our Christmas trees the way meteorologists name hurricanes - alphabetically by year and alternating gender. Our trees thus far have been Alf, Beatrice, Chester, Dolores, Eugene, Francesca, Guillame, and now Helene - 8 years, wow.
The name Helene seemed a little French and also appropriate since she does indeed LEAN. She is the Hel-LEAN-ing tower of Christmas! She also is more like a Christmas bush than a tree. She was all wrapped up when I bought her at the grocery store and I just went with it. But when we got her home and unfurled she was wider than she was tall! Oh well.Connor liked playing with the nativity scene I bought at the Valkenburg Christmas Market. I was very perplexed by Mary and Joseph. Couldn't tell if they were supposed to be shepherds too with their herding hooks? But I love having a nativity Connor can touch and move and interact with. She wasted no time doing just that! Along with Leo the Lion.
We put out the carrots, shoes, sweets and left a special note for Saint Nicholas (aka Sinterklaas).
Does this photo capture the joy of the night or what?
When Connor woke up the next morning we brought her into our bed to snuggle. After a few minutes it was like the memory lightbulb popped on. Connor looked at Kirk and whispered in the dark - Did the horsie come last night? Do you think he brought me anything? --- She was much more into Amerigo the horse. I think it was because of the carrots.
HE CAME! Saint Nicholas and the horse!
We had a cozy pancake breakfast and Connor played with all her new treasures. Check out the jewelry she and Kirk made while I cooked.
Happy Saint Nicholas Day!


Jenna said...

Hey Reid, So Aaron and I love that you name your trees! What a great idea, where did you come up with that?! We are now wishing we did something like that! :D Looks like Connor had a great time waiting for St. Nick and Amerigo! I like that tradition better than Santa Claus too!


Dallas said...

Such fun traditions. I love the tree naming, and the St. Nick note is adorable. Hope you had a merry Christmas and I look forward to see y'all soon.