Today is the 6th of December, and that is “The Day of St. Nicholas” in Germany. The evening before this day children put their boots out and hope, that they will get filled with sweets and little presents.
There’s quite a difference between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was a bishop, and so on older paintings or cards he is presented in a bishop’s robe. There’s not much jolliness around him–he carries a sack and a birch–the sack with the presents for the “good” children, and the birch for the bad ones. And he carries a book with him which is full of the good deeds and the acts of misbehaviour. So the 6th of December has not only been a day of happiness for children in the former days in Germany…
Nowadays Santa Claus has replaced St. Nicholas to a certain extent.
By the way, if you want to read more about St. Nicholas, go there.