(This article was previously published on December 12, 2007. We hope you enjoy it as we count down to Christmas, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to questions and comments.)

On December 6, Romanians celebrate Saint Nicholas and - besides celebrating everyone whose name is Nicholas - we also celebrate a beautiful tradition, of Santa Nicholas, who brings sweets to all the kids. The children have to be good; otherwise they receive a stick instead of sweets.

Tradition says they all have to clean their boots and put them at the door, so Santa will come and drop the sweets in their boots. I have such beautiful memories of my grannie, who played the Santa Nicholas role. I always found chocolates, marshmallows and mandarins in my boots and I was so happy…yes, I was good and I never found a stick!

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Since I became a mom, I’ve played Santa Nicholas for all the family, including my husband! Tradition has been changed a little bit…now we, adults, want to be children for a day and receive sweets from Santa Nicholas too,

It was such fun to get ready. The children were so thrilled while cleaning their boots with their little hands making them shine… and so were we! After they went to bed, my husband and I had lots of fun dropping the sweets in their boots. In the morning, we relived the excitement through our kids’ sparkling eyes when they saw the presents!

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One year, we decided they weren’t so good and had to be taught a lesson, so each got a long, silver stick in their boots…how disappointed they were, poor kids Needless to say we felt miserable, too.

Today, as I’m writing this article, is Santa Nicholas’ Eve and I’m about to go and drop the presents …oh, I forgot to mention my dog. He doesn’t get any sweets because he has no boots… but he is a part of our celebration, somehow …he now plays the role of Santa Nicholas for me, so funny!

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You might check this out for more information: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=38