Friday, December 3, 2010

December

Now majestic December bends,
In flakes, o’er hills and dales descend;
With icicles his head is bound,
The tempest breaks—winds bellow round.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac (1795)

Did You Know?

Many countries in Europe celebrate the Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, on the eve of December 6. After dinner, families hunt for their presents, following clues in funny, anonymous poems. They also eat candies and cookies, especially spicy crispy ginger-cookie figures formed in a traditional wooden mold.



St. Nicholas is credited with saving three sisters from lives of ill repute by throwing bags of gold into their house (some say down the chimney, others say through the window) to provide for their dowries. In many places children still hang their stockings by the chimney or place their shoes by the window for St. Nicholas to fill them with presents and sweets on the eve of his feast day. He is considered the patron saint of children.

3 comments:

Cartoon Characters said...

Sinterklaas...all my rellies in Holland will be putting out their wooden shoes! We also would have the chocolate letters - our initial - and the spicy cookies in molds of windmills: Speculaas...and the almond paste filled cookies: Gevulde kuchen...oh my!
Can remember my mom and aunts making oliebollen for New year's :)
you really brought back the memories! I will have to bake some...... :)

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

I recall hanging stockings on the steps and wondering why Santa thought a fresh orange was a good idea. We always got a kick out of the other stuff inside the stocking-little games, books, pencils, lip balm, life savers-- meant to keep us busy while the P's caught another hour or so of sleep.

Phiddy said...

The tradition of receiving oranges in your stockings at Christmas time comes from the late 1800s. Back then fruit of any kind during the winter months was an expensive treat and only the rich could afford to buy it. And, an orange was an extreme extravagance. So receiving an orange in your stocking was something very special.

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