This year is our first year at home during Christmas, so it's our first opportunity to have our own Christmas traditions. Both my husband and I were missionaries in Hungary and are both of Danish descent, so it only makes sense to bring some of those traditions in to our family. In both Hungary and Denmark, December the 6th is St. Nicholas' Day (Hungarian: Szent Mikulás Nap). We had Peter put out his rainboots for the night and here's what he got:
- A little Christmas tree to have in his room (decorated with lights and chocolate ornaments)
- A St. Nick figurine with more chocolates
- A little Christmas elf figurine (Danish: Jule Nisse) that my grandma gave us to have around our house at Christmas time -- a Danish tradition. And yes, it's a troll doll; that's what my grandma has around her house, though I'm not sure Troll dolls are actually used in Denmark. Peter was a little concerned that he didn't have any clothes. I guess we're going to have to make him some.
- A Christmas count-down calendar
- Nuts (at the bottom of his boots)
- A letter from St. Nick for Peter:
"Christmas is almost here, so start marking the days off your calendar. Before you know it, I will be flying into Atlanta with my sleigh packed full of toys for all the good girls and boys.
Listen to your mom and dad and your teachers. Be a good boy and I will be back on Christmas!
Meanwhile, will you take care of my little friend? He is a Jule Nisse, a Christmas elf. He likes a bowl of rice or porridge each night. You may also want to draw him some pictures or let him play trains with you. He can be a little mischievous, but he will bring you good luck.
Have a wonderful December!"
We are looking forward to more Christmas traditions this month!