Les fêtes ? Une occasion en or!

Les fêtes sont l’occasion de se retrouver en famille et de collecter les souvenirs, les histoires et les documents qui vous permettront d’avancer dans vos recherches ! Pour mener à bien ce précieux interrogatoire, il pourrait etre utile de se doter de :

  • Un enregistreur
  • Un bloc-note et son crayon
  • Des feuilles notes spécialement dédiées pour les recherches généalogiques, voire votre ordinateur si vous avez des fichiers spécifiques pour collecter les renseignements. Attention, notez bien tout ce que l’on vous raconte mais n’oubliez pas non plus que toute information (lieu, date, nom…) doit etre vérifié par des sources certifiées 😉

et d’avoir prévu un temps au calme en avance avec les personnes que vous aimeriez interroger. Ceci vous permettra aussi de demander aux membres de votre famille d’apporter des copies de documents, des photos et de passer un chouette moment à travailler votre mémoire commune.

En vous souhaitant de tres belles fêtes!

christmas tree noel

Come, Come Saint Nicholas….

It’s that time of the year when children in Belgium are so excited that you can’t keep them quiet . It’s Saint Nicholas day! In The Netherlands, Belgium and northern France it’s centuries-old custom for the children to receive gifts and sweets from the Saint. they leave their shoes and stockings in front of a chimney or a window and pray that they’ve been good enough for the great Saint to pay a visit to their home, also fearing that « Pere Fouettard » , Saint’s help won’t beat them with his stick!

Saint Nicholas comes from Turkey, the legend says that he saved three children from a monstruous butcher who wanted to kill and eat them.  I remember that story used to terrify me as a child. He is since then the saint patron of the children but he also protects mariners, lawyers, prisoners and single persons!

Nicholas also sometimes travel on a boat for the joy of the audience welcoming him and his staff! It’s always a nice show to see!

In some families, but less and less and that’s kind of sad, gifts aren’t wrapped as they are supposed to come straight from the Saint’s office in the clouds 😉

Saint Nicholas also has some duties before his round in houses, he’s much awaited in several shops and malls in Belgium, giving sweets to nice children on his way!  He also visits schools, nurseries and hospitals. When they see him, children sings Saint’s related songs such as

« O great Saint Nicholas

Patron of the schoolchildren

bring us apples in our small baskets

we will always behave

just as little sheeps do

We’ll learn our lessons ( another version says : we’ll say our prayers)

for sweets

come,come, Saint Nicholas (2x)

and Tralala! »

The dutch version asks « Sinterklaas » (Saint Nicholas) , the « kapoentje » (comes from Kapoen,a mischievious young) to lay something in the child’s basket, thanking him to do so, « thank you Sinterklaasje! » .

The songs are also sung on the eve of the big day, hoping that the Saint will bring toys and sweets to show to hard awaken parents 😉

Saint Nicholas crossed the Altantic with the settlers and immigrants and gradually became Santa Claus in the US but with the world being as it is, Santa Claus has make a come back in Europe (mainly starting with France and american soldiers) too for decades now so little ones have now two saints to cherish them.  Guess who’s happy?