Bilingual life and more


wonder and fear – Christmas is near
December 10, 2008, 11:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last night, almost asleep Emily tells me: “Mom, you have to remember not to make a fire in the fireplace on Christmas eve!!!”

me: “Why?”

Emily: “Because Santa would get hurt. He would burn himself or maybe even be burnt. Then he could not bring presents.”

This is also the girl, who did not get anything in her shoe that very morning. Ok, backing up, explaining what I mean … December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. My grandmother still remembers actually getting the presents on that day instead of Christmas day. Over the years Saint Nicholas has become Santa Clause and the big celebration was moved to Christmas eve. In Germany, we still celebrate Saint Nicholas day by placing a plate on the table where the kids sit. The next morning the plates are filled with oranges, nuts, chocolates and a little present. From that day till Christmas, if the kids place their shoes near the door over night. Saint Nicholas comes and leaves some candy in the shoe … as long as they had been good. Yes, there were times, when I did not have anything in my shoe growing up … but now, Emily was trying to tell me she had read two pages in a book that was very hard for her to read. When I asked her to tell me what she had read I found out, she had only read 4 words. Well, I explained to her that whatever the truth is, it could not be as bad as any lie. It hit home. Oh, she was soooooooooo sorry!!! She even said sorry to Saint Nicholas, who was certain to listen. Still, there was nothing in her shoe the next day. She understood, took it with stride, no crying, nothing. Wow, it did really hit home.

And I felt lousy!!! Yes, parenting is not always fun, I am finding. And who has not used fear as a method? Ok, don’t answer that. I do not want to feel worse.

Emily is now trying to figure out where Saint Nicholas comes in and if he ever leaves a door open. Anna was thrilled with the Lindt chocolate reindeer this morning. Both had a little nibble.

This all has a wonderful side effect that they get out of bed, dressed and ready, and shoot downstairs to see what is in their shoe. It takes them a whole 5 minutes, what used to take 15. Now, if I could just start ringing a little bell when they get the goodies. Will just the bell work after Christmas, too? According to Pavlov and Watson, it should. Ok, parenting CAN be fun afterall 😉

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3 Comments so far
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Ich habe Eure Advent- und Nikoalausgeschichten schon vor ein paar Tagen gelesen und wundere mich, dass sonst noch niemand auf Deinem Blog geantwortet hat. Nikolauserfahrungen scheinen entweder ausgestorben zu sein oder ?
Ich finde es jedenfalls zauberhaft, welche Intuition Kinder haben und wie sie auf die geheimnisvolle Zeit reagieren.

Comment by Annemarie Scherf

jingle bells, jingle bells… christmas is coming. I loved Emilies thoughts about the burning santa problem. The solution is very simple – just place a fire extinguisher on the top of the roof. Even for the modern santa it will not be a problem to use it as long as it is a red one. It should fit to the color of his coat. Greetings from the white Munich!!

Matthias & Tine

Comment by Matthias

Hello there
My first time on your blog.
I am living in Germany ( from South Africa ) and finding it very hard to settle in after 4 years of living here.
I find the German’s in our little town are not very accepting of *auslanders* and I cant speak much German, I know very little but understand more!
Interesting for me to read things from the other side…
Thanks for sharing.

Comment by marcelle




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