23 December 2015

Uniquely Milwaukee, Christmas Edition

Funny story - A few weeks ago I went to Target to pick up some groceries and stopped by their seasonal Christmas display to check out what Target was putting out for holiday d├ęcor this year. While I was walking around I saw a bunch of signs posted around the store that said:

Remember, St. Nick is coming tonight!


Target was REALLY busy. A lot busier than I'd seen it before, and initially when I walked in the store I thought that was because the holiday shopping bug had suddenly hit the suburbs of Milwaukee. But when I saw those signs, the thought occurred to me that maybe Target had set-up a picture area for kids to sit with Kris Kringle.

When I was checking out with my groceries, I made a similar comment to the Target checkout girl. "It sure is busier than usual! Everyone must be here because Santa is coming to the store." "WHAT?!" She got all excited, almost jumping up and down, looking toward the front of the store.

I looked too. No Santa chair set up at the front of the store, that I could see.

She turned to the cashier next to her. "Did we get Santa to come to the store tonight?"

"Oh! You mean the signs?" asked the other cashier Target girl. "No, St. Nicholas is coming tonight."

"OH!" Everything suddenly made sense to Target checkout girl. "St. Nicholas is coming tonight," they explained to me.

Uh, yeah... still confused. Repeating the sign wording to me doesn't clarify things.

Until I got home and googled it. Though the tradition has died a bit over the years, apparently there are still remote parts of Europe and of course Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Saint Nicholas (not to be confused with Santa Claus) still visits the homes of good little boys and girls in early December and leaves a treat for them in their shoes.

We must not have been good this year, at least on a saintly level, because St. Nick did not visit our Milwaukee suburb apartment. We'll try harder for next year.