I am indebted to Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home, in her piece Letters from a Doting Papa, for reminding me to tell you about the post cards that my own Father sent to my sister and me from France and Belgium during the Second World War. I had many of them framed years ago, and I took pictures of them for you to see.
What are particularly pertinent at this time of year are the post cards of St. Nicholas and Piet. This version of St. Nick is the first one I ever knew. The Thomas Nast version was a bit strange to me. In his bishop’s robes, this is the Santa Claus I pictured for years.
I finally saw him in Amsterdam in 1996. It was a raw November day, and I was my birthday – the best birthday I ever had!
The parade was long an very colorful, and we stood along the route for what seemed like hours. I know our feet felt like blocks of ice. But I was so excited, I was just like one of the kids. They all began to yell “Piet, Piet” when the many Black Peters came by, handing out candies and little cookies – I got some too!
I took a lot of pictures that day, but when St. Nicholas finally came I was so excited I took only a few – and the one that should have been the best was blurry – it was me, not the camera! I was absolutely thrilled – still am when I remember it! – to see my version of Santa live.
I smile when I read in the shelter magazines and blogs about decorating for Christmas. I don’t go to even moderate lengths to decorate for Christmas, after all, I’ve got a bit of Christmas around the house every day of the year.
Joyeux Noel Y’all