Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy St Nicholas Day

The best children's party in Perth, if you have any Dutch heritage, is the annual Dutch Club's "St Nicholas Party". My husband's parents are Dutch, so I restarted this tradition in their family, and it's so much fun. St Nick is accompanied by "Black Peter", but at this party he has at least 4 of them. First St Nick goes around and greets everyone and asks if you've been good, while the Black Peters give out lollies and ginger bread biscuits to all the kids. Then he gets out this huge red book with a gold cross on it to check to see if any naughty children's names are written in there, and he then announces: "No children have been written in my book, so you will all get a present." The kids are called one by one to receive their present. Some kids have to have a further test to see if they've been good; Black Peter puts a sack over their heads and my husband thinks that the tradition with that is to see if a piece of black coal falls out. If it doesn't then the child gets a present. I had to have a quick word in Black Peter's ear not to put the sack over my son's head, or he would have probably freaked out! They usually have a magician but this one seemed to have vanished before we even saw him. But we had a good time anyway.

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