Because Lorien attends the German Kindergarten, we get to learn about & take part in all the fun German traditions. One of the most memorable traditions here is the tradition of St. Nikalaus. St. Nikalaus is very similar to Santa Claus, but they are not the same person. St. Nikalaus comes on December 5th (at night), & the kids put out their shoes next to their doors. If they've been good this year, St. Nikalaus fills their shoes with small treats & toys. The girls shoes are next to their doors as I type this. We'll see if St. Nikalaus fills their shoes tonight.
But Lorien's Kindergarten always hosts a St. Nikalaus walk each year. Last night we got together as families & walked from the Kindergarten into the woods of Spangdahlem to a little cabin. So we got everyone all bundled up & took our long walk.
All the parents had made treats to eat once we got to the cabin. I made peanut butter bars which the Germans LOVED & I was dying over all the absolutely fabulous German treats. I'm going to DIE when I move back to the states & can't have shortbread or almond bars anymore. There is just NOTHING in the world like the treats you can get here!
While we were enjoying our treats, all the kids started screaming "Schau" (which means "LOOK")!!! St. Nikalaus had appeared in the trees by the cabin. All the kids ran out to meet him. It was so adorable how excited they all got, including my three girls. Usually Lorien cries at Santa, but she was thrilled this year. And Taya wasn't scared at all. They all ran right up to him.
After everyone settled down a little bit, St. Nikalaus took a seat in the center of all the children & the Kindergarten students put on a little musical program for him. Lorien played the jingle bells for the program. It was super cute & St. Nikalaus got a kick out of it.
Then St. Nikalaus had all the little kids line up & he gave them each a Christmas orange as well as a chocolate Santa sucker. My girls LOVED that. You should have seen Taya's face. We thought she liked St. Nikalaus before, but once he gave her chocolate, he became her best friend.
And then the night was done. St. Nikalaus was kind enough to take pictures with each of the kids before he walked back into the woods & disappeared. I'm going to miss Germany!