Now I didn't know my American guest could translate Santa Claus seamlessly into St Niklaas, surprising me with all the right ingredients. Then in the afternoon, the parents had homemade 'speculoos' and more tangerines and chocolate figurines. I must have been a good girl this year because obviously Sint doesn't bring presents to naughty kids. I like to keep traditions up, it is a way of marking the passing of time. It brings anticipation and a bit of reflection upon the why and whats. Sint Niklaas came from Spain, and the black young Piet was a servant watching out on top of the roof for the bad guys while inside alchemy was studied and conducted. If unwanted guest came, the kid would trow a bit of gunpowder in the chimney thus allerting the Sint inside. He got black from sliding down the chimney. Of course the Sint saved a bunch of kids by putting them in his big bag and carrying them out of harms way. So Spain causes the sweets to oranges, marzipan, tangerines, chocolate figurines and gingerbread for wich you need the spices from elsewhere. The kids are supposed to sing the special songs wich we did wholeheartedly.