Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holiday Wake-Up Call

Today is la festa di San Nicolo here in Italy--the festival of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nick is considered the patron saint of children, sailors, ships and the needy (proving that saints were multi-tasking as early as the 3rd century).

Last night, San Nicolo came to our home while we slept, and left gifts for our three children. This year, like most years, the holiday snuck up on my husband and me--er--San Nicolo. By the time San Nicolo got his act together and finally went out to buy gifts for my kids (at 7:00 last night), it was slim pickins in the toy shops. My youngest daughter wanted some battery-operated talking parrot. But last night there were none to be had. Of course, San Nicolo brought a talking parrot to two kids in her Kindergarten class, and these kids brought the parrots in today for show-and-tell. When my daughter pointed out the unfairness of this, I said that San Nicolo was obviously not on the ball this year, but he'd certainly pass her request on to his cousin, Santa Claus.

In other European countries, including Germany, children put out their boots, and Sinter Klaus fills them with oranges and candy. Lucky, lucky parents.

However, I choose to look at the failed talking parrot incident as a wake-up call. I vow to get my Christmas shopping done before December 24th this year. For once. Mark my words. And if I can get ahold of the coveted talking parrot, I will post a photo on my blog.

Until then, here's wishing you small crowds and ample parking near the front of the store. And if those things elude you...lots of online shopping with a high speed internet connection.


rilla said...

I just don't get it. Why are all the legendary gift-giving 'saints', men when it's generally Mom who goes running out for the talking parrot. Oh... now,I get it.
Good luck with the parrot, at least it's not a shiny pink laptop. And to think all I want for Christmas is the elusive Wii. The real kicker is that I have no one to blame either that I didn't stay awake all night and stand in line to get it. OK, here's the deal. You get me a Wii, Santa, and I'll find you a talking parrot ;0 Can't wait to see the picture.

debi in holland said...

I stood in line behind someone buying that talking parrot just last week. Hmmm. The funny thing was that no one could turn it off, and it just kept talking -- even after it had been wrapped! Good luck hiding that one . . .

Why is it that Germany and Italy have this holiday on the 6th, while the Netherlands has it on the 5th? Are we just that out of it, that we get the date wrong?

Julie_c said...

I used to work at a "pirate" themed summer camp where we had a toy talking parrot.

I sorta hope Santa Claus doesn't come through - for your sake.

May I add how SURPRISED I am to hear you are a last minute shopper. You seem like the type who would have it all together in July! :)

ecm said...

I sure can relate to that last minute rush to get certain presents. Sometimes it's that way even when you think you've given yourself enough lead time. Remember those talking Elmo's? Oh wait, you were probably in h.s. then! LOL Good thing you're a natural storyteller. (Cousin Santa Claus...Love it!) Best of luck with your talking parrot search!


Africakid said...

Here in Germany, St Niklaus already visited most homes, but our youngest (14, so she knows who fills the boots) is still waiting for chocolate. She'll finally receive her boot today.
I'm also the mom who wrote a few tooth fairy notes that said "unfortunately, I was delayed..." ;)

cynjay said...

Wait, you get stuck with San Nicolo AND Santa Claus? That is cross-culturally not fair.

I so wish I could get away with oranges and chocolates - it looks like Santa is going to break a 10 year moratorium and bring a video game system. Sigh.