Today is the eve of St. Nicholas Day. In many European countries shoes are left on the doorstep for St. Nicholas, or Samichlaus (pronounced Samy' clous) as he is known in Switzerland.
In Zug where my daughter lived, he would come to shore in a boat, with his helper, Schmutzli (pronounced Shmoo'-tsa-lee). The children and adults would accompany him through the city, carrying large lanterns shape like bishops miters, lit inside by candles. The light shines through intricate designs made of colored paper. So beautiful to see.
Because I arrived closer to the 25th, I missed this tradition, the year I spent Christmas with my daughter.