In Germany, today is the First Advent – meaning the first of the for Sundays before Christmas. It is often the last Sunday in November, but this year, it happens to be exactly on December first. Advent is here the time we spend in preparation for the Christmas celebrating, lighting one candle every Sunday.
The sixth of December is a very special day, Nicholas day. The prior evening, everyone in the house is cleaning their largest pair of shoes and putting it in front of the fireplace (or another special place). The next morning, the shoes are filled with sweets – if the children have been good. Supposedly Sankt Nicholas comes during the night to leave his gifts. He is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, who punishes bad children with his stick and leaves a piece of coal instead of sweets (some parents like to skip over this part of the legend nowadays).
The poem I decided to translate is set at this very special night. I did my best to keep the tone and the rhyme scheme. It is certainly not perfect, but I hope you like it nevertheless: