A clean boot, treats and potatoes.. my favorite Christmas memory

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

Growing up in Germany, the night of December 5th was always a big deal. Sometime during that night Nikolaus would come and fill your (very clean) snow boot with treats, small gifts and sometimes potatoes. Nikolaus is said to be Santa's helper and he visits to a) shorten the time until his big friend arrives and b) gives you a hint whether you are on the naughty or nice list. The clue is found in your boot. Treats mean you can relax, you've made it onto the nice list and potatoes, well.. you've still got a couple of weeks to do better! 

I remember that one Nikolaus morning very well when my boot contained nothing but potatoes (I swear.. I wasn't that bad!). The tears were huge but you can bet that I learned my lesson. But I also remember asking my dad for help cleaning my boot, my determination to stay awake every year to catch a glimpse of Nikolaus and failing miserably every year - as well as the disappointment when I figured out who really was behind the Nikolaus-story. I may have been mad at my parents for a minute or two but nowadays I just think of the magic and the joy and try my best to postpone that same moment of disappointment until next year when it comes to my own kids. 

NikolausA couple of years ago I thought that this was it when my youngest asked: "Mommy, how come we are the only kids at school that put their boots out on December 5th?" Uh-oh. "Ummm... well, Nikolaus is German and he only visits German kids." I am sorry kiddo. I hope you'll forgive me. Seeing your big smile and that same excitement and anticipation that I once felt in your beautiful eyes, I just couldn't bring myself to kill the magic just yet. 

Nikolaus, cleaning my boot with the help of my dad every evening of December 5th, finding treats and small gifts the next morning, the sigh of relief that clearly I had made it onto the nice list once again (but for that one year) is one of my favorite [childhood] Christmas memories and I hope, it will be a favorite for my children, too. 

Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




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Tyra Hatcher Mitchell
Alliance Realty - Portland, ME
Southern Maine Realtor

What a beautiful memore, thanks for sharing it, I enjoyed reading it

Dec 11, 2017 07:32 PM #1
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Andrea Bedard, this is a great memory, glad to hear you continue the tradition. 

Dec 11, 2017 07:37 PM #2
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Andrea: I see you have a new photo since I was here last. Remarkable! Very stunning.

Dec 11, 2017 09:13 PM #3
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Had not ever heard of the potato tradition....and how cool that you have kept it alive for another generation !

Dec 12, 2017 02:58 AM #4
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Andrea Bedard   That is a great memory and I am glad you shared it with us.  I have never heard of that but what a cool tradition. Merry Christmas!

Dec 12, 2017 07:58 AM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Andrea- love your new profile photo and your childhood memory. I was not familiar with this one!  And that's what I've loved about reading all of these is learning of the different memories. Thank you. 

Dec 12, 2017 05:30 PM #6
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I love your Christmas memory of Nikolaus and the tradition of sharing it with your own children. There are years I surely would have received only potatoes, too!

Dec 13, 2017 08:57 AM #7
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I love this tradition:) 

I had also some troubles to explain why we do not celebrate like all other kids in school. Eventually I just decided to celebrate all traditions:) 

Dec 16, 2017 11:36 PM #8
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Such lovely memories:) Thanks for sharing, Andrea .

Happy Holidays to you and yours! 

Dec 16, 2017 11:36 PM #9
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I love reading how the holidays are celebrated in different areas. I'd never heard of the December 5th boot tradition, and loved reading about it. You might still have a few years to keep that magic going!

Dec 18, 2017 03:45 AM #10
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

What a delightful memory and enjoyable post.  Wishing you a blessed, happy and healthy new year.

Dec 30, 2017 02:21 PM #11
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I was unaware of this Christmas tradition. I think it's wonderful that you continue it with your children. They are very lucky!

Jan 05, 2018 01:05 PM #12
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Andrea, happy new year! Nikolaud brought me (and my brother) a "Rute"  (cane) once. I wasn't happy! 

Jan 06, 2018 05:20 PM #13
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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