Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day. In Romania this is the warm-up for Christmas.
For Romanian kids (and for some adults) St. Nicholas is an old man who comes to people’s homes during the night of December 5th bringing gifts and sweets to children who were good throughout the year, and a naughty stick to those who weren’t that obedient. The gifts are placed in children’s boots, which have been carefully prepared and placed by the front door.
Since I was little my dad helped me prepare my boots every year. To make sure I receive more sweets and gifts, I used to align ALL my shoes at the door. And I would always get chocolate and oranges or tangerines* among other stuff.
Tonight my boots have been replaced by sandals and flip flops (I wonder how much chocolate can fit in there), and my dad is not here to help me prep for St. Nicholas. Thank God flip flops don’t need a lot of polishing!
Instead of sweets, I have an exotic fruit salad (well, exotic for me). Not too shabby, but I wouldn’t say no to chocolate. Ever!
I guess we start appreciating family traditions most when we’re away from home and from the close ones. But the beauty is that you can always create new traditions that in time will be as cherished and memorable as the old ones.
*Note to all my readers who don’t know the story behind having oranges around Christmas time – I’ll cover this topic in a separate article.