Where I come from (Hungary) and I guess in many European countries we celebrate December 6. as St. Nicholas Day. Today, - well, at least once a year - all children clean and shine their boots and put them in the window, hoping that St. Nicholas a.k.a. Santa Claus or "Mikulas" brings them chocolate and other treats. Kids, who don't behave get little golden coloured twig bunches in their boots - symbolizing a good spanking. Actually, everybody seems to get both the treats and the twigs. It's a nice custom, plus an extra opportunity to get treats. :-) Wish we had it in North America.