Nina called the other children together and everyone got comfortable in the cozy corner. Then she began to tell a story: "In the past, during the time of the knights in the Middle Ages, there was only St. Nicholas in Germany. People back then set out boots or a plate on the evening of December 5th and then found nuts or apples there the next morning. This custom has been kept to this day in many areas." "Yes, that's exactly what I also do!" Elise cried out. "Yes, it's true!" Felicitas had to admit. "But St. Nicholas doesn't bring any Christmas presents," she added stubbornly. "Not any more today," Nina explained. "It was simply different in the past. The story of how the invention of the Christ Child happened is a little complicated. In any case, it's the Christ Child who brings the gifts today, especially in southern Germany and in Austria, while people in northern and eastern Germany as well as in other parts of the world believe instead in Santa Claus. Santa Claus, by the way, doesn't look the same everywhere; in France, for example, he wears a red coat with a pointed cap." "But in the US, he wears a red jacket and pants. And he rides in a sleigh pulled by reindeer," Lilli added. "Santa Claus goes from house to house the night of December 24th, slides down the chimney, and then leaves the presents. My American friends and also my brother Steven, my parents, and I always waited until the next morning to unwrap the presents."
The girls were astonished. "Really? Children in the US don't unwrap presents until the morning of December 25th?" "Yes," Nina confirmed, "and when do we unwrap presents here in Germany?" "On Christmas Eve!“ the children cried out. Nina smiled: "Obviously you know that. But imagine: in Spain, the children in the past had to wait until January 6th for their presents." "Why was that?" Elise wanted to know. "In Spain, the Three Wise Men traditionally bring the presents. The children set out bread and water on the evening of January 5th, and then the next morning, that is on January 6th, they find their presents.“ "That's almost like our St. Nicholas!“ Imke cried out.