I discovered the site last year through a storyteller friend who came to our Advent party and read The Baker's Dozen, a Dutch St. Nicholas legend. I also discovered "lebkuchen" through this site, one of the many recipes for St. Nicholas cookies flavored with Christmas-season spices.
Hopefully your children didn't forget to put their shoes outside the front door last night like our's did, despite all the anticipation of this tradition! Good St. Nick didn't leave them empty-handed, however-- he left a note with the following text in Italian: "Dearest Maya and Dearest Joseph, Black Bart (St. Nicholas' sidekick) and I were surprised that you didn't leave your shoes out for us. Did you forget or did you think you wouldn't receive any gifts? I will return on the 13th with my friend St. Lucy. Therefore, on the 13th, put your shoes out. Don't forget! Be good! -St. Nicholas"
Ever the bargainer, Magical Maya quickly wrote up a response: "Dear St. Nicholas, Yesterday we were busy and did forget! St. Nicholas, even though tomorrow is not your feast, could you come with gifts tomorrow? Please?! -Maya"
We'll see tomorrow if saints are open to negotiation...
This exchange of letters reminds me of a little known book by J.R.R. Tolkien, Letters from Father Christmas- we have the Italian edition and it's on the reading list tonight. Buona festa!