A figure in the dark, clad in heavy furs, a fierce mask-covered face, a bundle of switches on his back, banging and shouting throughout the countryside...
What could be more frightening to a young child? The figure trudged from house to house, rattling chains and throwing pebbles at the windows. He carried goodies for the children in his sack, mostly fruits and sweets, but he also carried switches and threatened to smack any children who hadn't been good.
The figure often carried a sprig of evergreen as a symbol of life amid the deadly cold of winter. This is the legend of the Belsnickle according to German folk lore which came with the immigrants to America. The fierce eyed Belsnickle takes his name from Pelz-Nickolaus, which means "St. Nicholas in fur."
Well, good or bad, kiddies, tonight is the night. Best wishes and "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
To all my blogging friends, I hope you have a very
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you soon, and take care,