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In Germany, the Christmas season “officially” begins on December 5, Saint Nicholas Eve. When I was four years old, my father was transferred to Germany and we lived there for about 2 ½ years. In the town where I lived, it was customary to place your shoes next to your bed at night, and Saint Nicholas would leave either a small gift or a piece of coal, depending on whether you had been “good” or “bad” during the past year. On the morning of December 6, Saint Nicholas often makes a personal appearance in towns and villages, personally presenting the candy and coal. Even after leaving Germany, my parents always brought up Saint Nicholas, and his alleged knowledge of whether we had been “naughty” or “nice” during the year. Saint Nicholas fit neatly into our American traditions, as Santa’s helper. 

Even today, December 6 still signals the start of the holiday season for me. This is usually the time I decide to make a few batches of cookies. I enjoy making traditional sugar cookies in holiday shapes. But no Christmas is complete without Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. These are a great cookie anytime of the year, but the first time I had them was part of a holiday cookie exchange, and they have been a tradition ever since. They are easy to make, very chocolatey, and the powdered sugar makes a very pretty coating when they bake. Besides, the recipe makes a lot of cookies, so what’s not to like?

But the real reason I chose this day of all days to host the Blog Advent Calendar is the Saint Nicholas Day surprise that I received 12 years ago. My youngest daughter, Julia, was born December 6. She was due to arrive December 23, and I was stressing out about the possibility of spending Christmas in the hospital. Julia had other ideas and, like Saint Nicholas, decided to make an early appearance. I guess Saint Nicholas decided I’d been good that year; she has brought our family tremendous joy ever since.

Happy Birthday, Julia!


Be sure to visit the remaining stops on the Advent Blog Calendar Tour!
7 December - Wendy (Caribousmom)
8 December - Nymeth (Things Mean A Lot)
9 December - Raidergirl (An Adventure in Reading)/ Chris (Stuff as Dreams are Made on)
10 December - Dewey (The Hidden Side of a Leaf)
11 December -Suey (It's All About Books)
12 December - Chris (Book-a-rama)
13 December - Jill (The Well-Read Child)/Stephanie (The Written Word)
14 December - Robin (A Fondness for Reading)
15 December - Alyssa (By The Book)
16 December - Rachel (A Fair Substitute for Heaven)
17 December - Literary Feline (Musings of a Bookish Kitty)/ Stephanie (Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic)
18 December - Dev (Good Reads)
19 December - Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December - Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December - Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)/ Susan (Reading, Raving, and Ranting by a Historical Fiction Writer)
22 December - Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December - Booklogged (A Reader's Journal)
24 December - Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)

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Comments

literaryfeline
Dec. 7th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
What a wonderful post, Laura! Thank you for sharing. And Happy Birthday to your daughter. :-)

laura0218
Laura

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