Saturday, December 05, 2015

St. Nicholas Day in Austria

In Austria, it is traditional for children to receive gifts from St. Nicholas (spelled Nikolaus here) on December 6th. My son got his gifts today...because, quite simply, the stores are closed tomorrow and Saturday just works better for us.

The normal gifts are oranges, peanuts (in a red bag), chocolates (chocolate "gold" coins are also popular and fits in nicely with the St Nicholas story) and dates (I do not always get dates though).

The red bags usually have red draw strings on top. And the choice of St Nicholas or Krampus as a sticker. One year my son got a Krampus sticker...and he put it on his door! Chocolate St Nicholas or Krampus are usually available...maybe I was too late this year, but I did not see any Krampus chocolates.

My son got usual treats from us. Then we went to visit DH's family and my son got a little bag of goodies from them. It was a nice visit. Omi (DH's mom/my son's grandmother) was there. She is 90 and was in good spirits, which makes things easier on my son, who tends to be sensitive. No talking about maybe dying tomorrow, thankfully! 

After a lovely lunch with family, we met a friend for coffee. He gifted us with 3 Krampus breads.  Yummy, buttery bread! I ate 2, my son says he wants the 3rd one but if he does not eat it tonight, chances are it will be stale tomorrow even if I wrap it in plastic. So, we will see.

Graz has a famous Krampus parade every year. It was last weekend and my son did not want to go. We spent a quiet evening home playing Monopoly instead. If you do not know this character, Google it! 

The drive to visit is about an hour to and fro. Unusually warm in Austria, so no snow or ice yet. Perfect day for a drive! 

And in case you are wondering...This is what downtown Graz looked like the other night. 

And as this Saturday night draws to a close, I am drinking peppermint tea and watching a children's feel good Christmas TV show with my son. Maybe, just maybe I will knit a few rows on my current sock.

All is well in my little corner of the world. I appreciate this little holiday, leading up to Christmas, where the gift of FOOD makes children very happy. There is no stress or surprises...they get the same thing every year!  And they hear the story of the real St Nicholas and how he helped poor people. 

No comments: