It's Dec. 6 - St. Nicholas Day! I'm Czech on my mom's side, Polish on my dad's side; so we note the day in my family. From what I have read it is a tradition of northern and eastern Europe. On Dec. 5 children place their shoes beside the door at bedtime. In the morning they find goodies tucked into their shoes - little gifts, fruit, and candy or cookies. (Or a lump of coal, if they've been naughty) When I was little there was an orange in my stocking every year. Most years there would be a Father Christmas cookie like this one. At the Czech bakery they're not baked in a mold, but they are wrapped with a colored picture of Father Christmas on top. They are yummy, gingery, similar to Dutch Spekulaas (sp?) cookies. In Czech he's called Pernik.

I had St. Nick on my calendar for the wrong day! Thought I was supposed to hang up my stocking tomorrow night and find it filled on Saturday. Whoops! So -- how about a piece of gingerbread with me?

Happy Saint Nicholas Day,