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In Germany, the 6th of December is St. Nicklas' Day (Nikolaustag). The saint brings small gifts to children, who have been good throughout the year. Bad kids get a strap (usually a small bundle of twigs, also sold with bits of candy). The candy is put into polished boots or commercial plastic ones, which kids put in front of their bedroom doors. It is also common for co-workers to distribute candy on that day.
Here in St. Marys, PA we call this holiday Bell Snickel. It comes from our German root.
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