Thursday, December 11, 2008

St. Nicholas Day

On Saturday, we had a visit from St. Nicholas – the real St. Nicholas – the holy bishop who wears a miter, carries a crozier, and rides a white horse, not the fat fellow in a red suit. Rebecca and Rachael both were always more excited about the visit of St. Nicholas on December sixth than they were about actual Christmas. Perhaps because Christmas can be so overwhelming, but the visit from St. Nicholas was their own special event and was always relatively serene. They put out their shoes and a bowl of oats for the horse, and eagerly awaited their gifts of something warm to wear – usually on hands, feet, or head – and fruits and cookies. Rebecca, who was the best child ever, was ever needlessly worried about getting a bit of coal or worse yet, being put in Krampus’ sack. No matter how firmly we assured her this could never happen because she was always so good, she worried terribly. One December 5th night late, it snowed for the first time in quite a long while. Rebecca woke up, and everything looked different due to the snow, the altered light, and the consequent new shadows on the wall from the bare tree limbs. She was sure Krampus was there to get her, and cried out pathetically. We leapt out of bed to comfort her, and she was relieved to see the snow and no Krampus. Did she perhaps she have some terrible secret that only Krampus would be aware of?
This year, Rachael actually forgot to put out her shoes, or possibly thought she was too big for Niklaus to visit her. She was delighted when she got up and found her shoes filled with cookies, candy, an apple, and this pair of gloves which I knitted for her. Later, when I was changing my linen, an apple rolled out from the sheets. I was mystified until I realized that, unlike the candy and cookies which were quickly consumed, the apple had been rejected and left behind.

9 comments:

FugueStateKnits said...

Oh, poor kid! Talk about an over-active conscience! But what a sweet tradition to have in your family! I remember learning in my German class about Knecht Ruprecht, another of the "heilige Nikolas'" henchmen - not quite the jolly old elf in the poem, was he?
We told our kids that there was such a person as Santa Claus, that he was a Saint who gave gifts to help people.
LOVE those gloves! They are positively BEAUTIFUL!!! I bet she loved 'em!
Merry Christmas and blessings of the holiday season to you and yours!
Joan

lv2knit said...

I would really love to know what pattern and yarn you used for the wonderful gloves!

Knitman said...

Beautiful gloves, what else can I say?

sillyewe said...

EEEE, I love them and the story is great. I love traditions and am enjoying a particular radio station that is broadcasting calls from people with their particular family Christmas stories and traditions. The glove are just beautiful. I already plan to make the Saguaro socks so I will definitely add these gloves. Thank you for the lovely patterns. :0)

laura gayle said...

GORGEOUS gloves!!!

Heidi said...

I too find these gloves beutiful!

I too would love to knit them:)

rebecca said...

What pretty gloves? Have you made a pattern for them?

Lorri said...

The gloves are just delightful!

June said...

I've never heard of this tradition, and it is something I would have adopted had I known. . . gorgeous knitting and poor darling girl. . . I'm sure she loved the gloves! At least I should hope so! :)