That’s not really my question, though it’s funny that in our 3 languages, HE--Father Christmas--has 6 different names!!
But! In Hungary, and I think in Germany too, he actually arrives on the 6th December…and it’s little Jesus who puts the presents under the Christmas tree on 24th! So what do you tell your children when in TV and from their teachers/friends/other relatives they hear a different story?? Rather confusing. I certainly don’t want to give up celebrating the 6th of December!!
After grandfather Frost came and hand delivered our daughter's present, she woke up Christmas morning crying because Santa Claus didn't come. When I said but what about her present that she just got, she replied that it was from Grandfather Frost not Santa Claus. Let's just say that from now on she's on both lists. I see this as an additional benefit of being bicultural.
Our Christmas traditions are similar (France/US) but when we have differing stories, like the Tooth Fairy vs the Mouse, we just do both! Mine know that "the mouse" brings money to French kids for their teeth, and "the tooth fairy" for American kids--they feel lucky to have both. I'd say your son is lucky to have both traditions--go with it!
I didn't grow up with Baby Jesus (the Christkind), mentioned only in carols. Christmas presents were brought by the Weihnachtsmann ("the Christmas man") on the evening of December 24th.
On the night before December 6th, we'd put a boot or a plate out or hung a stocking from the door handle (for me it was always a stocking), and St Nicolas would bring a little present and some sweets.
In my husband's family, le Père Noël would come on December 25th.
As we celebrate Christmas in Germany (and I hope we'll be able to continue that for a long time to come!), my daughter gets her presents on Christmas Eve, under a real tree decorated with real candles (and no, we've never had to call the fire department yet).
At age 4, I'm not sure if she believes in any of them, though. The guy at the Christmas market is a normal man in disguise, she knew that last year already:
My son has always been a logical little thinker, and when he was 4, he asked me:
“When Santa was little, did he get presents from a different Santa?”
I have to admit, I was completely tongue-tied.
Now that he's 7, and my daughter is 10, both of them have come to doubt his existence, but I think that the desire to continue believing in Santa Claus (or a similar gift-giving figure) is very deep, very strong.
The truth is, I don’t think anyone really wants to let go of this wish to believe in Santa Claus—in the basic generosity and goodness of our world—even after logic, and the harder reality of life, can no longer be denied.
Finally, while we're on the subject, you might enjoy a look at my son's Christmas list from last year. (Don't be fooled, though--I was pulling the strings...)
Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
It's also St Nicholas who comes in Hungary on the 6th, so the night before we put a boot up in the window, and he puts sweets, chocolate and maybe a small gift in it. My idea is to treat the 6th as a kind of antipasto... So I'll tell my little boy that Santa comes before Christmas to check on the children and see how well they're behaving. We will leave our letter with the Christmas list for him in the boot, and maybe he can leave Samuel a letter or a warning...
Marisa: "Victory moment:" My almost 4-year-old daughter told me yesterday in the ml (rough translation): "mom, there's something wrong with the cartoons, can you fix it, please?"... she was accidentally watching TV in the ML! So I gladly obliged
Jan 18, 2020 4:15:02 GMT 9
Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
Jan 18, 2020 5:25:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Marisa, give that little minority language lover a big hug from me!
Jan 18, 2020 8:04:49 GMT 9
Mayken: We're at Harry Potter Book Night at the English bookshop in Paris. The activities are all in French but my daughter teamed up for the treasure hunt with a girl who also speaks ouf ml German!
Feb 8, 2020 3:50:49 GMT 9