My best friend Jen Rathmell grew up in Germany and therefore has the tradition of celebrating St Nikolaus Tag (Santa Claus Day in English). Jen is addicted to gift-giving and also committed to making sure that my kids think she is the coolest adult on the planet, so they receive many gifts from her and have been the recipients of many St Nikolaus gifts.
St Nikolaus Tag is December 6th. German children (and, apparently, also the children of people who are friends of people who grew up in Germany) set a single shoe outside on the night of December 5th. They wake up on the 6th and find a treat from St Nikolaus.
We've been traveling, so we're a bit behind schedule. The kids put their shoes out tonight and will wake up tomorrow and see this:
Being the truth-loving realist that I am, I've already re-explained to the kids everything they need to know about St Nioklaus Tag. They know they are the recipients of sweet treats because Jen Rathmell loves them and enjoys this tradition from her German childhood. They know she sent the gifts but we put them in the shoes for her since we no longer live in the same town. Mark says I don't leave enough to the imagination. But c'mon, what am I going to lead them to believe: that Jen Rathmell flew in from Virginia and dropped these treats in their shoes? Or perhaps that an old German man stopped by and left them some candy? Um, no. Either way, the girls will be full of giggles and grins when they open the door tomorrow morning.
Thank you, Jen Rathmell! As I've said before, I don't even daydream about giving gifts like you! You're thoughtful generosity is in a league of its own.