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The 6th of December is a day long awaited by all children in Poland. Why? It’s Santa Claus’s name-day! Not only does this make people realize that Christmas is near, but also it brings its own little nice customs.
Traditionally, children receive small gifts on this day. Traces of this custom can be found in texts dating back to the 18 th century, when children used to get apples, wooden crosses, gingerbread and gilded nuts. Nowadays, Saint Nicholas Day also implicates getting small presents, but their nature has changed.
While already in bed at night on the 5 th of December, children expect Santa Claus to visit them and bring them something nice. They clean their shoes or prepare big stockings, where Santa is supposed to put the presents. Early in the morning they rush to their shoes or stockings. Some children get their gifts under their pillows instead. Usually they get sweets and small toys. Sometimes, when Santa is a little bit more mean, he also brings them colorful toothbrushes.
At many schools every child can become Santa Claus on this day. Teachers prepare small pieces of paper with names of their pupils and children draw them. Their task is to make or buy a present for the person they draw out, keeping the name secret. They bring their presents to class, put a name tag on them and place them in a big sack. The teacher distributes the presents. Usually nobody knows who their personal Santa is.