You could call St. Nicholas a prototype Santa Claus. In some northern European cultures, children would get presents from St. Nick on December 6. He left the gifts in a shoe or sock left at the foot of their bed, or perhaps hung from a doorknob. In America, cities with German traditions, such as Cincinnati, start the Christmas season off with this guy.
Christmas lights brighten up a dark time of year, as the hours of sunlight diminish. Here in Minnesota our skies are often clouded in December, adding to the gloom. I like looking out my windows at dusk and seeing the neighbors’ lights coming on. I really like Decembers where we actually have snow on the ground. (Dear Mother Nature, so ditch the drought already, okay?)
In what is probably a total lack of good sense given the level of animal mischief in this house, I am going to buy my Christmas tree today. I’ll get a wreath and maybe some pine tops for the patio planters. The lights are already on the house. Now we just need some snow.