In Switzerland we don't have Santa coming down the chimney on Christmas eve, our Samichlaus visits children on December 6. Some come to people's houses, others to malls, but the real one meets us in the forest. So families venture out and wait… Until you can hear the donkeys' bells ringing and spot a red coat through the trees.
Here they come!
Then kids line up to wait their turn. Most of them are a bit nervous (you can never know the level of information that Samichlaus has on you. Plus you've got to recite your verse, you'll read about them later.)
Feeling relieved now...
Time to socialize with the girls!
Same goes for the big guys! Look, I've got a new app on my phone!
After the kids were done, Santa, his helper Schmutzli and the donkey posed for a group picture.
Mommy had a word with the Schmutzli. Or was it the other way round?
Three guys in the forest
Once all the kids got their treat bags, the cart could now be used for donkey rides! Fun!
The next day we went to see a whole other bunch of Santas!
Every year on the first Sunday of December the Zurich Harley drivers meet up in an alley, inspect each others' bikes and then form a convoy to cruise through the city to a mall (one I rarely go. Their parking ramp is too narrow for me. Don't laugh.)
Anyway, at the mall there are some fundraising activities for the children's hospital going on.
This year we went to the alley. Very little people and more space to watch the beautifully decorated Santas' bikes!
Now about the verses. If you want Santa to give you treats, you've got to sing to him or recite a verse. This was 2012 - perk up your ears, it is in Swiss German ;-)