Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas on Fire Trucks

   It has been a snow-edged day of waking early to chocolates hidden in shoes, home-baked cakes shared in moments between work, and packages in the mail.  And I thought, since we have another Nicholas-themed card again this year that the 6th of December, being Saint Nicholas' feast day, would be the perfect time to share it here.

   As I sat down this year to work on a new linocut card to send around for the holidays, my husband thought back to his childhood and came up with an idea.  He told me that in America, where he grew up, there is a tradition for Santa Claus to ride through the streets on a fire truck around Christmas time.  The truck goes slowly, but with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  Apparently this happens in a lot of towns in America where local fire departments are volunteer-run and need to create close links with the community, as they are very dependent on donations for their funding.  This American incarnation of Saint Nicholas is quite different from Der Nikolaus who used to visit my father in Germany when he was a child, which was the theme of last year's card.  And though it is certainly not so poetic an idea as the themes behind our card of two years ago or the one from three years ago, I do see how this would thrill children, perhaps stuck alone at the dinner table to finish their vegetables, or writing out pages of times tables or cursive letters.

   The card is quite a simple one this year. Hopefully it will bring some relief to those people back home who believe, no matter what I say, that I only make strange things.  I only make these cards as a way of sending family and friends a bit of happiness, after all.  Still, next year, if I find the energy for card-making I am thinking of Snegurochka, or my mother's childhood worst fear, the Abominable Snowman.

So in the spirit of a randomly passing Christmas spectacle.... A Happy Saint Nicholas Day to you!


  1. I must have missed that tradition of Santa Claus on firetrucks... but I love it and the card is great. I'm grinning at the thought of folks only thinking you make strange things, I so get that. I'm the "strange" one in my family. Happy St. Nick's day!

  2. I am in the US (I grew up in a small town in South Carolina) and I do remember seeing Santas on fire trucks...but always as the "grand finale" of the Christmas parade. I had forgotten all about that.

    I just love your blog, by the way!

  3. i love it! i love the bell on the truck :D you are awesome :P i never can think of a christmas card to make. i always say, this year i will just make one, and then i chicken out :P