Monday, September 22, 2008
Every Fall, as the corn fields around my home begin to fire up a golden color that fortells of harvest, I get in the mood to start making my Belsnickles. I pull out my antique chocolate molds, gather up my milk paints and put in orders to all of my suppliers in order to make sure I have enough chalkware, imported glass glitter from Germany and authentic silver tinsel. I no sooner had poured my first Belsnickle this last August when I began to wonder....what is it about this little icon of Christmastime that draws me in so much? Of course, the Belsnickle is not the true Santa Clause as we know him in America, he's not even a nice character at all if you read up on several versions of his history! He was a creature to be loathed and feared by the children of our Pennsylvnania Dutch ancestors. Some accounts don't even credit this being as human, and certainly not St. Nicholas. So who was the Belsnickle?
I sat down and did some more research, being an enthusiast of all things historical. Families of German and Dutch descent would have their children leave out their shoes or socks by the hearthside on Christmas eve and over night, the Belsnickle was supposed to visit, either leaving lumps of coal and switches for the naughty or leaving christmas trees and candy for the good. Many legends ascribe elflike attributes to this being, while others just allude to something otherworldly. So this explaines why I have never found a chocolate mold or an authentic candy container Belsnickle with anything other than a stern or angry face!
Look for my full line of authentic, Chocolate mold Belsnickles this year offered either through Wsoapp.com or through Ebay. Very few of them will be up for auction this year as I now have a shop that has put in a large order.
This year has been a wonderful year for roses here in east central Illinois. Here is a picture of one of my garden favorites; an English rose by the name of "Crown Princess Margurite". I have a passion for the old world roses and this is but one of my many specimens bred by David Austin. It is planted by our east door and it's high, arching habit is perfect for framing the doorway....except for those thorns!