I didn't grow up with the tradition of St. Nick's Day. But when I heard Brent had the family tradition, passed down from his mom's uber-German family, I was all over it. Brent remembers nearly nothing about it (geez!), so I quizzed his mom. She remembers when she was little, St. Nick left her a brown bag of treats at the front door, including what was apparently a real treat: oranges. She loved having that bag of treats because she didn't have to share it with any of her siblings.
Several years ago we started making the traditional Speculaas cookies. I used this recipe (the first one, "Speculaas Koekjes") this year and they turned out deeeee-licious. I can't stop eating them.
Ate this whole bowl after the photo. Yessiree. I did.
Then the girls put their shoes out before bed and checked them in the morning.
Treats! And because the girls would probably cry if they got oranges, they got real treats--chocolate covered pretzels, gumdrops, miniature animals, and Japanese erasers.
Mimi marched into her preschool room a couple hours later and announced that "St. Uncle Dave put pretzels in my shoe."
So there you go, Uncle Dave, you got all the credit for that one! (and I'm sure we'll hear about your sainthood)