The last month of the year has started – the silent time has begun – and many people get into their Christmas preparations. In Germany, there is yet another big date before Christmas: on December 6th, children in Germany celebrate ‘Nikolaus’. They place their boots outside their front doors on the evening before and the Santa Claus look-alike – called ‘Nikolaus’ puts little gifts and sweets into them. But dirty boots are unacceptable – so the day is a great opportunity to make kids clean their shoes.
Background information around Nikolaus
Each December 6th, Germans celebrate Nikolaus to remember the death of the catholic saint Nicolas of Myra. He was born sometime between the years 270 and 286 in Patara, nowadays a part of Turkey, and died on December 6th either in 326, 345, 351 or 365 – the exact year is unknown. His uncle, the bishop of Myra, ordained him a priest at the age of only 19. Nicolas’ parents died very early and bequeathed him a fortune. According to the legend, he gave his inheritance on three consecutive nights to three young women in his neighborhood so they had a sufficient dowry and did not have to become prostitutes to make a living.
There are still several traditions that celebrate ‘Nicolas the Wonderworker’. The most common tradition in Germany: The children place their boots outside their front doors on the evening before the 6th and the Santa Claus look-alike puts little gifts and sweets into them. In some areas in central Germany, the kids dress like Nikolaus and go from house to house. The neighbors then have to guess who is hiding behind the mask and they usually give the children some coins or sweets.
It was never so easy to clean boots
But Nikolaus won’t accept dirty boots – a great opportunity for a little shoe cleaning session with your kids. But keep in mind: children should never use shoe cleaning products without their parents. The first step in the Nikolaus shoe cleaning session: remove coarse dirt. The easiest way is to wait until the dirt is dry and use a brush or a soft cloth. Now it’s time for more thorough cleaning – for example with the pedag Combi Set. The set consists of an effective, freshly scented cleaning foam and a special sponge that absorbs the dirt.
But what if your children want to put their huge moon boots outside the door? No problem. They can easily be cleaned with pedag Combi Set, too. The foam can be used for all kinds of shoes made from smooth leather, suede, fabric and synthetics. It can also be used on shoes with TEX membranes.
The last step in your shoe cleaning routine: use a nourishing care product. pedag Premium Shoe Polish is a great choice! It refreshes the colors and gives your shoes a silky shine. It is available in a wide range of colors and also as multicolor version that can be used on many different shoes. For long-lasting shine, just apply the polish with a soft cloth or with our fluffy polishing glove made of genuine lambskin. And now, your shoes are ready for Nikolaus.
It's also great to make a little decoration for the apartment together with the kids for Santa Claus. Simple materials are all you need: an empty toilet roll, red crepe paper, red and beige construction paper, some cotton wool, ribbon, scissors, a felt-tip pen and glue.
- Use the toilet paper roll to measure the height and length of the red construction paper so that it completely surrounds the roll once. Glue it to the roll.
- For the bottom, cut a circle from the red construction paper, the radius of which is slightly larger than that of the cardboard roll. Glue the roll onto it.
- Cut a piece for the face from the beige paper (long semi-circle). Glue the piece to the upper edge of the roll, leaving about 1 cm of space at the top.
- Eyes, nose and mouth can either be painted on with a felt-tip pen or cut out of construction paper.
- Cut a 15x10 cm strip out of the red crepe paper and fix it to the top of the cardboard roll from the inside.
- Fasten the white cotton to the upper edge of the cardboard roll with glue all around. This is the brim of Santa Claus's cap.
- Use the cotton wool to form Santa's beard and glue it to the cardboard roll.
- Now you can fill Santa Claus with sweets and close his hat with the ribbon.
Many more ideas can be found on Pinterest.
pedag. For shining Santa boots.