07 December 2014

The Anti-St. Nicholas

No theological significance to this post, just family life in all it's craziness.

The kids found "money candy" from St. Nicholas in their shoes yesterday morning.  Other St. Nicholas Day traditions in our house include giving away as many toys as the kids are old (that's 19 toys combined!), and reading about the dear bishop.

Ours were deutchmarks, from Aldis

There was some drama about how many silver and gold coins each received; some ate some before breakfast; some ended up with more than others once the candy migrated downstairs.  We had to leave at 8am to make it to Sunday School Christmas program practice, so instead of figuring out who got how many, I said, "We'll figure it out when we get home!"

Later husband went with his dad and brother to see Interstellar.  We came home to this all over the table.


Stage 2: anger
Stage 5: emo acceptance
My second-born was HORRIFIED, and made some of these faces and cried and screamed a lot.

Stage 4: depression

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that, although each foil was carefully peeled, not every crumb of chocolate was eaten, and there were claw marks (!) on some of the wrappers.

We have a Christmas dog we got in December 2012.  He is, as my husband says, the gift that keeps on costing.  He is very handsome, but very clever (or stupid....perhaps dumb like a fox?), and usually does one round of damage while we're gone (trash, if we forget to take it out before we leave, stuffed animal, pillow, bag of flour.  He can open doors, cupboards, gates, screens...).  We forgot to read this description of the "Boxadore" when we blissfully went to pick ours up.  Nothing could go wrong with a free Craigslist ad, right!?*
 The Lab Boxer mix tends to produce a dog that is intelligent and very good with kids. If there is a personality drawback, it is the fact the dog tends to have an absolute ton of energy. If you don't have very active kids or a family member who will take the dog for a run each day, you may end up with a pup that destroys things in the house because they have so much pent up energy. 
I'm a sucker for handsome men and dogs
So, back to St. Nicholas.  Did you know the Scandinavian, Slavic and German countries have sort of an anti-St. Nicholas who punishes bad children? He goes by many different names, and can look quite frightening!  I believe he is in the "trickster" tradition of Puck or Loki, but can be quite sinister. So we're thinking of renaming Little Bear, our anti-St. Nicholas, our bad Christmas dog**

                  Black Pete
 (or Swarte Piet), Santa's mischievous little helper

                  Krampus, the original coal-gifter (and sometimes terrifying child-eater)

                     Or maybe Arius, the original Anti-St. Nick!

For more less-than-perfect Church Year in the home reading, see Rebecca Sicree's classic article on the gift-giving Lizard Man, Bethlehem Baboons, and Advent Air Bazookas! 


* concerned dog lovers: He's 80 lbs and just had some mild indigestion; he's fine (and more importantly, my carpet is fine)

 **everyone else, wondering why we still have this monster: Who else are we going to mock, ridicule, deride, and snuggle on the couch with?  He is the ultimate family court fool, and he seems to keep a good sense of humor about it.  Plus, he keeps bad guys away and is a good mouser.


  1. Too funny. I'm not a dog person, but we have our Calvin. I was blessed to be able to take him to the vet yesterday and wait in the teeny tiny waiting room with him and 5 other dogs with owners for an hour. And my hip-hugger was also on my hip. For an hour. And Calvin was NOT well-behaved like the other animals who were calmly sitting or lying down. My 10yo was there to help, but as with the children, sometimes only Mommy can do certain things with the dog. Sheesh.

    But he does let the kids climb all over him and poke him in the eyes and play in his food while he's eating it, so I guess he's not all bad. And when he has a seizure, I feel like my heart's being squeezed to death.

  2. I forgot to enter my comments the first time I read this. They were.....

    "Ha ha ha ha ha!!" And "Dang that Krampus gets me every time!"

  3. Jody, yes, when we first got Little Bear I took him along with a baby to the vet. He was pretty anxious (and strong), although he hadn't entered his "I'm a male, grr" puberty stage, so he wasn't trying to prove himself to the other dogs. I was checking out and the receptionist was pretty unhelpful/grouchy with my trying to juggle a muscly, 80-lb baby and a deft 15 lb baby, trying to grab my pen while I wrote a check. A nice lady offered to help, and I surprised her by handing her my (real) baby! I think she was a little surprised and muttered something about "I thought you would give me the dog," but I didn't trust LB, and wasn't giving much thought to handing babies to strangers (oops). My husband now always takes LB to the vet.

    Anyway, I joke I became a little less of a dog person, even though I consider myself one, and my husband became a little more of one (he grew up with cats). when we got our dog. I am 100% behind any mom of the house who puts her foot down on getting a dog until the kids are grown.