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Nicolas, while in nursery schools, a man portraying St.

Saint Nicholas originates primarily in Alsace, Nord-Pas-de-Calais (French Flanders), and in Lorraine, where he is patron.

A little donkey carries baskets filled with children's gifts, biscuits and sweets.

The American Santa Claus, as well as the British Father Christmas, derive in part from Saint Nicholas and in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas, the saint's name in that language.

However the gift giving associated with these descendant figures is associated with Christmas Day rather than Saint Nicholas Day itself.

Nicholas to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year.

Children who behaved badly may expect to find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows.

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Cold and hungry, a wicked butcher lured them into his shop where he killed them and salted them away in a large tub. Nicolas' help the boys were revived and returned to their families, earning him a reputation as protector of children. Bakeries and home kitchens are hives of activity as spiced gingerbread biscuits and mannala (a brioche shaped like the saint) are baked.

In schools, children learn songs and poems and create arts and crafts about St.

In the Netherlands, "Dutch children put out a clog filled with hay and a carrot for Saint Nicholas' horse.

On Saint Nicholas' Day, gifts are tagged with personal humorous rhymes written by the sender." In the United States, one custom associated with Saint Nicholas Day is children leaving their shoes in the foyer on Saint Nicholas Eve in hope that Saint Nicholas will place some coins on the soles, for them to awake to.

The whole family gets ready for the saint's arrival on 6 December, with grandparents telling stories of the saint.

The most popular one (also the subject of a popular French children's song) is of three children who wandered away and got lost. In France, statues and paintings often portray this event, showing the saint with children in a barrel.


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