Advent and St. Nicolas

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Advent & St. Nicolas
Tags: , ,

December 1st.  This dreaded, parental date in central Europe, heralds the beginning of the chocolat overload season.  In this house, the date announces itself by the need to create a miniature ‘Santa’s Little Repair Grotto’ in order to glue, hammer, wire and restring the various receptacles in which said chocolat is housed, along with the other Christmas countdown relics.

(Glued the Santa back on, hammered in tiny nails to hold roof together, applied new wire holder to back)

(Re-glued number pegs, re-attached wire at back)

Truly, my Xmas D.I.Y. skills are second to none.

‘Tis the start of the season whenThings One & Two’ leap out of bed at 6 a.m. every morning to race, squabbling all the way, down the stairs to check if St. Nicolas, er, remembered to place the chocolate squares in the Advent house and to argue ferociously over who gets to open the daily box of the Playmobile ‘tableau’ calendar.

By 7 a.m., the combined sugar hits of the chocolate and breakfast Cougnou (a traditional sweet bread, in the form of the baby Jesus, with raisins and sugar) peak. It’s kind of like the over-excitable kids from ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, on acid. This early morning horror scenario will last for TWENTY FIVE DAYS. By Christmas Eve, this Mama will have lost her baubles.

(Who knew baby Jesus had two heads?)

As if this were not all bad enough, on the night of December 5th, St. Nicolas and his band of not-so-merry men (armed with switches), are due to pop in.  The children put their slippers outside the bedroom doors.  If they have been good, St. Nicolas will fill them with goodies; if bad, I think one of the ‘companions’ of the blessed Saint, um, beats the child with a switch…

You know what, I’m going to leave it up to David Sedaris to explain the whole thing to you.

David Sedaris: 6 to 8 Black Men


  1. sinda says:

    One of my very favorite David Sedaris stories ever. I love that man.

    I’m torn on Advent – last year, the chocolate sneaking drove me crazy, so I haven’t gone there this year yet. Luckily, Hannukah (we have both holidays in our house) is only 2 weeks away, so I think that will make up for it.

    • deegeefee says:

      Babe, when I am on my death bed, I want someone to read David Sedaris to me, so that I can die laughing. Cannot tell you the amount of times St. Nicolas has *forgotten* to deliver here, a bit like the Tooth Fairy. Massive improvisation ensues, which worked when they were younger, but now…? Ooh, you have Hannukah too! January is all about the Colgate, really, huh? xx

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