This may be Santa’s boot to many of you, but to me it is St. Nick’s boot. Growing up in Croatia, St. Nicholas was the only one that brought gifts. Maybe because Santa was too busy working in the U.S.!
On the night of December 5th, my brother and I would search for our dad’s largest boots and place them outside our bedroom window. I would nicely polish my boot because I knew that St. Nicholas brought more gifts to good children and my dad seemed to encourage that thought. Now that I think about it, he wanted clean boots! My brother on the other hand did not bother to clean anything. We made sure to line the boot with a plastic bag because we did not want smelly candy. This surely wasn’t a fuzzy stocking hanging over the fireplace.
We clearly marked the names on the boot to make sure Krampus knows in which boot to leave the sticks. He accompanied St. Nicholas and left golden sticks for good kids and silver sticks for bad kids. St. Nicholas always brought candy, but Krampus occasionally left some regular sticks, more often in my brother’s boot. It is a very special memory I have, waking up on St. Nicholas’ Day and running outside in the cold with my brother to get our boots filled with fruit and our favorite chocolate bars. I did not imagine then that I would be making a real chocolate boot filled with assorted chocolates. There are even chocolate covered pretzel “sticks”!